Tuesday, December 9, 2008

blurred vision

"When the corn is nearly ripe it bows the head and stoops lower than when it was green. When the people of God are near ripe for Heaven, they grow more humble, and self-denying. Paul had one foot in Heaven when he called himself the cheifest of sinners and least of saints." -John Flavel

Every week in the church bulletin, there's an 'epic puritain quote', followed by some things that are going on globaly that we should be praying for (I'll leave that for the end of the post). This quote, as well as the message on Sunday and watching how the Church acts and treats each other here, has been a big encouragement and a kick in the butt for me.

I am so thankful to join a church community that actually lives out what they preach, and to havea pastor that cares about how youre doing so much that he will call and ask how you're livingout the Word that have been studying. we need that SO bad. we need people in our lives to holdus accountable to Christ's calling and commandments and to speak truth into our lives... I haven't had that in a long time and yes it would be so much easier to just become a recluse in my little trailer,being lazy and not caring about other people, just whats more comfortable for me...but i'm so thankfulthat i'm at a place where i will get called out on that. It was a bit hard at first, since i'm kind of the new outsider, everyone already knew each other, and sometimes i use being shy by nature asan excuse not to be the one to initiate friendship, or to see how others are doing, or to ask how i canhelp them...instead of just waiting around for someone to come keep ME company, and to help mework on MY trailer...its so selfish.. i am such a selfish person. we all are. and its something so veryimportant that we need to work on. This was the passage Eric preached on on Sunday...

"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love,if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joycomplete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.Do nothing out of selfish ambition of vain conceit, but in humility consider others betterthan yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to theinterests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus" Philipians 2:1-5

This verse is so convicting to me...because it's so hard to do all of the time! But it's so important for the body of Christ and also to show unbelievers how 'normal Christianity' is supposed to look like.If we could just love each other better than ourselves, and put our self aside to serve others,what would the world look like?

So this is what we've been studying and in my small group we also studied a little bit about the 'oneanothers'...comandments in the Bible about how we should treat one another. And I'm so convicted about it right now. God has put me in a place where I have more time than I know what todo with! while some of my brothers and sisters here are overwhelmed with not enough time...not to mention my neighbors that i barely see or talk to and the people in the community i couldstart to initiate conversations with....and here i was watching lost and cleaning when my pastorcalls to ask how the job search is going and to encourage me to live out this passage! And i'm thankful for that reminder and that push to start really living out God's Word. So i'm going to tryto make a conscious effort this week to to just that...and to become like the corn that is nearly ripe, putting my self aside and bowing in service to my Lord and to others. Maybe you can help me prayfor this. I want to be obedient, but so often i feel so weak!


In other news, I got a call back from a job I applied for, cleaning offices after everyone goes home from work. Not the ideal job, but it pays really well. He said they would be doing interviews in thenext few days, so please pray that if the Lord wants me to work there that He will put it on their hearts to hire me! And pray that I will trust that the Lord knows what He's doing and will open the right door for a job. Money is really tight right now, I have a lot of things to pay off (car, trailer, rent,money i've had to borrow from my parents, and medical bills). I know the Lord will provide in His time... but it's hard not to become frustrated that i still haven't gotten a job!

Something else that's new....looks like i need glasses! i finally sucked it up and went to the eyedoctor yesterday and after doing some tests, looks like i have astigmatism...so fun. apparently itwas bad enough where he said i probably shouldnt really be driving. i have noticed things beinga bit more unclear lately, and have always had a harder time seeing while driving at night...but i never thought they day would come where i would need to wear glasses! thats gonna be a bigadjustment for me... at least ill be able to see clearly....

Well, it's getting colder and colder here in Jackson hole, and looks like theres finally snow to stay.The snow and the icicles are so beautiful. moss loves to jump around and eat the snow. im excitedabout it, but im not excited at all about driving in it. driving in ice and snow is pretty scary! im notused to it at all...maybe i will be after a few months of it, but its just so dangerous. i wish there was a way to have your car spray salt all over the ice right before your drive on it. that would be sweet.


Ok that's enough for now. i've put off reading for too long, and need to go do that. but i'll leave youwith this so you can be praying for our family outside of the states...

On Nov. 12, two Christian sisters were killed by a gang of Islamic extremists in Mosul, Iraq, according to contracts working with Voice of the Martyrs. The gunmen shot one of the sisters outside their home. They stormed into the home, killed the other sister and injured their mother.The incident is one of the latest in a series of attacks on Christians that have occured in Mosul in recent weeks.

Since October, more than seven Christians have been killed and more than 200 families displaces. The Christian community in Iraq is estimated to be 3 percent of Iraq's 26 million people. some Christians believe they are being targeted in an effort to wipe out the Christian community's economic activity and drive believers from the area.
(www.persecution.com)

Friday, December 5, 2008

smile

This morning was supposed to be the big event for Moss...the taking away of his manhood. But much to his luck it got so cold last night that my car wouldn't start this morning. I forgot to plug in the block heater the one night it finally got to below zero. I don't know if the battery is messed up or what, but either way, Moss has still got his stuff for another few days. And it looks like he's pretty happy about it...i just discovered that he smiles when i scratch him now! I thought it was so great, I had to share...

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Anyway, not much else is goin on. I went on a walk today and it was beautiful as always...only it's really starting to get cold, not 'warm' like in the 30's. It was 5 degrees when I was trying to start my car this morning and I think the highest it got today was in the 20's. Which is nothin compared to what lies ahead...so I better figure out my car situation soon before I'm stranded somewhere freezing. 

I am a part of a small group that meets every week, which I'm pretty excited to be a part. It's been a very long time since I've been a part of one. We just started going through a workbook called God's Solution to Life's Problems, and it's really beneficial. Puts the authority and the Truth of Scripture in perspective. Which is very important!

I talked to one of my very very good friends today whom I haven't talked to in a while, and that was a blessing. Though I had to catch myself not being jealous or dreaming of traveling again right now. Her and her husband are meeting up with some friends in the desert soon. A few months ago I was talking to some other friends about meeting up in the desert for the winter. I was there last March/April and absolutely LOVED it, but wasn't able to stay there for too long. While traveling on my friends veggie bus we drove from Georgia to Holtville, CA at this amazing hot springs/oasis called the five palms, spent some time in Slab City, and a day at Joshua Tree before me and my traveling partner split off from the bus. When we arrived at the slabs, most of the 'snowbirds' (people who live there for the winter then go back home) had already left and I was looking forward to spending more time there this winter while there were a lot more people there and going back to Quartzite, Az where I spent some time 2 years ago. They have a huge swamp meet in this small town in the desert where travelers from all over come to camp in the bml land and work.......but obviously God had other plans for me. And instead of spending winter sweating in the warm desert sun, soon I will be up to my knees in snow! God sure does have a good sense of humor!

But there is a time and a place for everything. This isn't my time to travel. Right now, it is my time to be still and know that HE is God. Like I said, I don't know exactly why He brought me here, or how long I'll be here, or when I will be able to be on the road again, but I don't have to know! God is in control and He has a marvelous plan and that's all that matters. I think this winter is going to be one of growth and learning and it's not necessarily going to be easy, but it's necessary. And scary. I'm just going to have to keep in prayer and in the Word to keep my focus in the right place...not wishing I was somewhere else with someone else, which I tend to do a lot. When i was in Minneapolis a few months ago, I just couldn't wait to settle down in my own place...and now that I'm in my old place I'm missing places like Minneapolis and being 'free' to see friends whenever I wanted...  no matter where I'm at, unless I'm finding satisfaction in Christ, I will never EVER be satisfied in my situation. There will always be something better that I'll be wishing for or reaching for. I'm thankful that a friend reminded me of this verse not too long ago (which is not taped to my trailer door)...

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is like to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether living in plenty or in want."  Philippians 9:11-12

I pray that that will be my attitude wherever I'm at in life...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

winters coming

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it's funny how since I moved here, i can now say that its 'warm' outside when its 30-40 degrees! and it's so true, compared to 5 degrees or lower, 30 does actually feel warm... like i dont have to put on my heavy jacket unless im going to be outside for a long time. It was snowing today for a bit, but was too warm to actually stick, but watching it fall was so beautiful.

I remember when I first got to Georgia last January...I was "freeeezing" when it was in the high 20s-30s outside. I just wasnt used to it at all. Now i'm sitting here waiting for it to get below zero already and to have feet and feet of snow on the ground. Apparently sometimes theres so much snow here, you can only see the tops of the road signs! I dont know if it gets that bad every year, but i hear this year is gonna be worse than last year. Pray I don't freeze! I need to make a sweater for Moss. Some of my friends have tried to tease me for wanting to make him a sweater...but when i see him shivering in 15-20 degrees, i cant imagine that his medium coat will keep him too warm in 10 below. 

Speaking of Moss, poor guy is getting neutered on friday. I got a free voucher from a program here, so it's all payed for. I was debating having it done for a while, but think it will be best. I won't have to worry about him getting my friends dogs pregnant, and maybe he'll be a bit calmer. He's becoming a real man. I hope taking his manhood away from him wont change him too much. He's starting to mark everything in sight. Even when he has no pee left, he'll still try to lift his leg on stuff. The other day in the pet store he marked the counter...haha I didn't realize it til I was leaving. 

It's starting to get pretty dark early here. And with no job and not much to do here, or many people to see, I don't have much to do but hang out in my trailer. Sometimes I like the privacy, but other times I feel like too much of a recluse. Now is one of those times. Pray that I will find something to be involved with in the community. Maybe volunteering or something, until I can find an actual job. More importantly, pray that I will use my time wisely to really dig into the Word and spend this time I have alone with God. It's so important right now, but sometimes it's hard for me to get motivated to do it. It's comforting to know that though lately I've been feelin kinda alone, that I'll never really truly be alone. The Lord is here with me and He want's all of me. I need to find my satisfaction in Him alone.

And of course I'm also thankful for my furry roommate to keep me company...

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his most favorite spot

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livin the high life

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my ferocious guard dog

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Monday, December 1, 2008

oh wyoming

I learned something amazing about Wyoming recently, but to those of you who live in the city, you have to promise not to get too mad...


First let me just say that I absolutely love Christmas time. I'm into some pretty cheesy, typical stuff. Like getting excited about Christmas music and lights and looking at how people decorated their houses, and my favorite...CHRISTMAS TREES! There's almost nothing better than walking into a home (or in my case, a trailer) that smells of pine and Christmas. But I always hated the fact that Christmas trees are so stinkin expensive. You spend so much money on a already cut down tree that's drying up already. When I was a kid my family would drive 30-40 minutes to cut one down ourselves... well that got harder and harder to find when I got older...


Well, I'm not in California anymore! I live in the mountains! And you know what that means?


it costs 5 DOLLARS for a permit to cut down your own tree that's 6 feet or less! And if you want to get really crazy, it's 8-10 bucks for a tree less than 10 or 12 feet, and if youre just out of your mind you can get a 15+ foot tree for 10-15 bucks! (or something along those lines...)


What a great family tradition to start...hiking in the snow to find your own tree in the forrest! Maybe one day...


Now this made me really excited. Then the little hippie voice in the back of my mind told me how ridiculous it is for millions of people to cut down trees every year just to throw them away a few weeks later. But I figure as long as I do something useful with it afterwards, like carve something out of it, or use it to keep me warm, it won't be a total loss. And I think that a nice smelling, festive Christmas tree will brighten up my little trailer and bring me joy, especially being so far from so many I love this Christmas. I'm not saying for everyone to go crazy and cut down all the trees they want, but I think the abundance of trees in this area could spare a small little guy for this crazy, smelly girl to feel at home this Christmas.

So that's just what i'm gonna do. I'm gonna get myself a Christmas tree! ...for 5 BUCKS!!!



Sunday, November 30, 2008

i don't know.

well here i am. in Jackson Hole, Wy.

in my trailer.

 

christmas lights up.

 

dog sleeping.

writing a blog...

 

what the heck is that all about?

i usually am not too fond of these things. but realizing today how theres so many people ive lost contact with and people who want to know whats going on in my life and what the heck im doing in Wyoming, I figured it couldn't hurt any. I would like to share what the Lord is doing in my life, although it would be a lot better to do that personally, that's not always possible with everyone. The Lord is providing, He is working. and i'd like to share that with you. I also have daily struggles and thoughts and lots of changes goin on that i'd like to share as well.


I have so many amazing stories to share about my travels this past year. I've gotten to meet so many incredible new friends and seen so many beautiful places, I wouldn't have time to share them all. I will reflect on some of my traveling stories later on. but right now I'm having to focus on getting rooted in this town of Jackson Hole, which is so different than I'm used to. First off, I'm not entirely sure EXACTLY why I'm here or what I'm to do...except that I thought I was going to be staying in Minneapolis for a while but the Lord had different plans. He definately called me to get rooted down here to get involved in the local church and possible ministry opportunities to the ski bum/hippie culture here. I have no idea what that will look like, but i'm trying to just be obedient and trust that the Lord will do the rest.


For the past few months traveling, the thought of 'settling down' somewhere for a while was really on my mind a lot. There was so many things I loved about traveling, but I deeply missed being in one spot for more than a month and being involved in church and ministry and getting to know the community...that and I felt like I was always invading someones home with a very active young pup, and was looking forward to having a space where i wouldn't have to worry about Moss messing anything up or making him lay still for hours on end getting from one place to another. 


Long story short, the Lord called me back here. So about a month ago I moved here not knowing where I was going to live or how I was going to get around...not really knowing anyone besides my brother, sisnlaw, and nephew and barely knowing the people on the church plant team. The enemy tried to put some major doubts in my mind...telling me that I should settle down where all my friends are and not where the Lord could possibly use me. After all, no one is just going to be 'passing through' this huge mountain on their travels anyway...so when would I see any of my friends?! and although thinking like this is still sometimes a struggle for me, as I'm having to adjust to living alone and not having a next destination, the Lord keeps reminding me to look to Him. It's a struggle, believe me, but it's so great to know that HE is in control and when I have no clue what i'm doing, He does! He knows exactly why I'm here, how long I'll be here...He can see the whole picture, when i can only see a blurry glimpse of what He has in store.


So after I got here the Lord totally provided the perfect place for me to live. A couple from the team had bought a trailer right after they moved here this summer, but were looking to sell it since they had moved into an apartment...I was afraid I'd have to live with some rich person I didn't know or pay an absurd amount of money for rent, which i dont have (by the way living here is VERY expensive)...but when I saw the trailer i fell in love. i'ts perfect for me and the dog. It's well insulated for the cold winter months ahead, has an amazing wood stove, running water, sweet old wallpaper, free electricity and internut, and great neighbors, most of whom have dogs too. One neighbor gave me wild antelope our other neighbor had killed (which i gave to my brother) and another has offered to fill my water tank all winter (they turn off the pipes in winter coz they freeze...but my neighbor has a water hose that will reach to the bathroom). There's also a 3-legged coon dog that runs around on the roof of the office building. It's so beautiful here it's nuts. I'm really digging his whole campground/trailer park living. I just wish some of my friends would come visit me already! :)


The Lord has also provided me with a car that has 4-wheel-drive and a block heater...which is very important in this area. The only thing left is to get a job...which is almost impossible this time of year (off-season). Please pray for that! I'll tell ya, living in a mountain/ski area is pretty different. Everyone seems to be pretty nice, and doesn't look at me weird. My only regret is there's no coffee shops or ANYTHING open past 6 or 7pm, since everyone is out going to bars or partying instead. bummer.


that's all for now. time for bed.

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