“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot
Showing posts with label Women. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Women. Show all posts

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A fragrance of my presence...

The Ethiopia/Uganda Chronicles
Chapter Seven - The Fragrance

Guest House, Gojo Ethiopia
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Written on Wednesday 2/12/2014
In Gojo, Ethiopia

Yesterday, I would sit with the widows for hours.  Just knitting.  No interpreter.  Just me and them.  Smiling.  Nodding.  Me giving a thumbs up which always made me feel silly, but I didn't know how else to show my pleasure of their progress.
No words.
Just me
and them
and the sound
of knitting needles.

A gift of my presence.  An American who flew half way around the world to sit with them.  To teach them to knit.  And to knit with them.  The gift of my presence.

But I wanted more.  I wanted to be able to use my words.  Because I am an encourager.  I thought words would be a gift.  But there would be no words.  Teaching knitting through wordless example.

No words - and so I was missing out.  I wanted... me... for me... just some words.

But for them I was a fragrance of Christ.

For we are a fragrance
of Christ to God
among those who are 
being saved and
among those who are 

2 Corinthians 2:15

It was written on a 3x5 note card with a heart sticker that my precious 88-year old Jean B. had written and asked me to take with me on my trip to Africa.  And when I looked at it on Monday morning before it all began -- I knew it was a verse I would hold on to and cherish.  And so I did.

And this morning as I pondered an encouragement from my pastor that it was a gift that I could sit and work on the process of knitting all day.  That he himself could not possibly sit still and do the process all day.  Just go buy a hat and scarf, why don't you?  I finally realized that this Type B personality - which in the midst of many Type A personalities didn't seem to show much value at least to me - all of the sudden made complete sense.

There were no words.
But there was a fragrance.
A fragrance of my presence
"among those who are
being saved and among 
those who are perishing"
that would last longer
than the words I thought
I could offer.

No words.
Just me
and them
and the sound
of knitting needles.

For more of my thoughts on Ethiopia/Uganda visit here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Celebrate With Great Joy!

 Sneak Peek!
Preparing to celebrate the completion of our Nehemiah study.

Last Thursday I had a little garden party.  I invited the ladies from the Nehemiah Bible study over to my home to celebrate our completion of this study.  A couple years ago I began to realize that it is important to recognize that our study is complete, but we are NOT finished!  See this post if you want more details.

I can get anxious about having people over my home.  Especially if I plan for it way in advance.  So, I try to not think about it until the last minute.  Not always the best idea for decorating, but it is good for my nerves.  I did try to make some fun decorations to hang outside to make the space more cozy since it was a gray day (and to draw the eye to the colors and not any of the unfinished yard work).   I just used some crepe paper and tied it on to some heavy thread.  Thanks Pinterest!  (Note the hammer on the table?)  The hummingbirds loved the red crepe paper which makes me think I need more red in my garden.

Another little trick I did right before the gals arrived was to wet down the mulch and concrete.   It hides a multitude of imperfections.  I've seen this done on television and movies so much that I thought it might work for me.  And it did!

Caren, Sherrie, Sarah, Penny, Penny and Susan
(Missing from the party - Barb, Barbara, Bernie, Crystal, Jan, 
Jennifer, Joan, Lisa, Roxanne, Sheila, Tanyadene, Tessa)

Have you ever done a Kelly Minter study?  Well, she includes recipes in her studies.  So the gals made a couple of the dishes from the study to share with us.  Delicious!  We had the Tasty Quinoa, Capri's Pasta and Billie's Banana Pudding.

The JOY of the LORD is my strength.
Nehemiah 8:10

Susan made the favors and the centerpiece.  She choose the color of the paper for the favors to be like Jerusalem stone.  Sorry that you can't see the details.  Inside were some yummy chocolates.  She is totally gifted in making a piece of paper look like a million bucks!  Then she painted this clay pot to look like the wall Nehemiah built!!!  What a thoughtful keepsake for me.  Just like building an altar to remember what God has done.  (More details about my thoughts on memory stones or altars see these posts.)

I am so blessed to have these precious sisters in my life.  We are kindred spirits and I love each and every one!  I know they think I am pretty special, too.  But the secret is... I wouldn't be who I am today without them in my life. 

Looking ahead, we are starting Lysa TerKeurst's study "What Happens When Women Say Yes To God."  If you are in the Portland, Oregon area on Tuesday mornings, JOIN US!  We meet from 9:30-11:30am at Portland Christian Center.

Then all the people went away to eat and drink, 
to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy
because they now understood the words 
that had been made known to them.  
Nehemiah 8:12

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I just wanted to remind you that life is messy.

 Sun-Kissed Orange Beauty In My Garden

Quick unedited thoughts as I am about to head out the door to pick up my son from school.

I just wanted to remind you that life is messy.
Relationships are messy.
Church relationships are messy.

I have been having this conversation multiple times over the past few days.  So I thought I would remind you, too.  Conversations with women who want to leave the church because another woman at church has hurt their feelings.

And your feelings are real.
And I am sorry that you are hurt.
I will be praying for you.
I will be available to give you a hug.
And maybe go out to lunch to cheer you up.

But here's what I think...
If you attend church, there will be women who will hurt your feelings.
If you do not attend church, there will be women who will hurt your feelings.
Just because a woman is a Christian doesn't mean that she should have the ability to not hurt your feelings.
Christian women hurt other Christian women's feelings.
It happens.

I kinda think that if you aren't getting your feelings hurt at church then you probably aren't paying enough attention.
Or you aren't involved enough.

If relationships were easy, I don't think Jesus would have had to remind us so often to "Love one another."  I need that reminder.  I think you do, too.

Believe it or not, you have hurt the feelings of other women, too.
It's okay.  They have already forgiven you.

Church relationships are messy.
Relationships are messy.
I just wanted to remind you that life is messy.