Are we actively seeking the kingdom in our daily words, thoughts, and actions?
Those are questions all Christians struggle with. We know we are called to find and use the talents he has specifically given each of us to glorify him. 1 Peter 4:10 says "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace". I think the hard part is deciphering what it IS we are supposed to DO! We are blessed with many talents but what exactly is it that God is calling us to do...? Are we meant to teach Gods work in children's church, minister to the masses with the gift of song, or serve at the local soup kitchen? Are we to volunteer to drive on a field trip when we dont have time so that we might encounter a child that needs a hug because he isn't getting it at home? Are we lead to give a smile to someone who is having a bad day that might develop in to an opportunity to share what God has done in our own lives? Is it small encounters where we take the time to share his love or is it something bigger? Each moment we have is so precious ...will you choose to do powerful things with your time or waste it? Will we miss our opportunity to volunteer at a clothes closet, shelter, or mission trip because we dont have time. What could be more important than to begin thinking about your spiritual gift and praying about how to plug it in. Be aware, focused, and deliberate in your search. What is it that our Lord has so graciously laid upon your heart?
What a challenging thought to ponder... What a monumental and rewarding moment when you find yours! My friends Tasha and Jeff don't have to search any longer. They know that God wants them to spread his love to those in Kenya. We have been blessed to know these 2 amazing people for several years and promise to keep them in our prayers each day as they embark on this incredible journey. Tascha will be working at an orphanage of 60+ children ages 0-4 and Jeff with worship, ministry, and media.
They have committed their lives to being missionaries and serve Jesus with all of their hearts. They will spend their days helping, educating, and loving others. Those who aren't as fortunate as we. Those who do not have hot water, loving parents, or adequate diet. But do you know what they will have....the opportunity to meet and know Jeff and Tascha. The incredibly important experience of learning how much God loves them and a chance at eternal salvation. What a remarkable gift they will give. These children will be able to feel the love that radiates off of Jeff and Tascha. They will be perfectly loved and cared for by two people who choose to dedicate their lives to others. What a testimony. What an awesome experience they will never forget and lives that will forever be changed. They have already changed ours. In the short time we have had the opportunity to known them... they have raised the bar in our lives. Challenging us to step outside of the box and focus on WHY we are put on this earth. Helping our awareness and focus switch to a more important fulfilling things. They are kind, compassionate and dedicated. It is evident from the moment you meet them that they live for Jesus. You can't help but love them. Please add them to your daily prayers for the next 365 days. Pray for their families as they faces the weeks ahead without them. Pray for their safety. Pray for their hearts and minds to be renewed daily. Pray that their journey is as rewarding for them as it will be for so many. Pray for their strength when the comforts of home aren't at their fingertips. Pray for this precious couple for its the least we can do.
We love you Tascha and Jeff and cannot wait to follow along on this journey that God has chosen for you. You are in our hearts, prayers and every thought until you are home safely.
As we brave the cold and jump back into our routines ... I begin reflecting on the past three weeks. Moving, celebrating, praising, eating, driving, shopping, singing, decorating, feasting, visiting, praying, thanking, giving, teaching, tasting, cooking, smiling, fa lalalala-ing, and ringing in the new year with family traditions... The holiday season always flies by at record speed. This year was no exception. As we moved homes exactly 1 week before Christmas with three children, two moving trucks, no childcare, and multiple doctors appointments; I was unable to dedicate the time necessary in finding amazing one of a kind gifts. I normally pride myself in hunting down the most unique, inspiring, absolutely -hands down- most "perfect" gift for each person on my list. This year was complete fail in that department. I absolutely despise giving 'gift cards' because they are so simple and impersonal. Unfortunately I had to suck it up and go with the wretched gift card and to my surprise it's apparently the right size, color, and fit for everyone!
Santa was another hurdle. I struggled with buying too much before the move because of having to box it all and risk not finding it in time for Christmas. So we waiting until the Sunday before Christmas (Wednesday) ... Bad idea!! Everyone had the same idea and most toys were sold out! Plus I'm not a procrastinator and maneuvering the isles with others of last minute mindset was painful. The search for the best gift for my three little men turned into throwing miscellaneous junk into the cart. I had no idea what we were grabbing. And elf on the shelf was another obstacle. I didn't want to bring him out too early for fear of running out of ideas or losing him in the move. Fortunately, our elf from last year (Shotty- yes as in 'shot' gun-) brought a friend for Perry because he needed some extra attention. Perry named him Bo Jackson and the shenanigans began. Unlike most moms- I'm holding out on all of the 'good' pinterest ideas until next year... (Real story- I forget to move him until midnight and I run into the kitchen to find a light to hang him on or jar to stuff him in) Proving my creative powers are in a rut or I'm just tired!
With all of the craziness and holiday madness the boys woke to gifts from Santa and celebrated the birth of our savior. We attended the most beautiful Christmas eve service and spent amazing moments with family. We made sure to emphasize the importance of why we celebrate and how we should carry that awareness throughout the year. Although the 'perfect' gifts were not found and the house not decorated as usual... Perfect memories were made and perfect traditions began. Turns out -the stress I put into the holidays with the decor, shopping, and cooking isn't all that necessary. Christmas will happen if we are ready or not and as long as your family surrounds you and the true meaning is acknowledged and celebrated. . . then I feel that's a perfect holiday.