Friday, January 18, 2013

Lavish Love and Missions

As a Christ-follower who has done missions (by missions, I am referring specifically to living in a country other then your birth country for the express purpose of sharing Christ) previously and is preparing to do so again, I’ve been thinking a lot about what missions is and how it should be done. 
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s much simpler then I would have at first thought (Shocker.  Or not.)  Since writing THIS, the word lavish has been swimming around in my grey matter.  Sometime in the last 48 hours, this
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has merged with this:
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Here’s the nugget I uncovered.  If we go, to serve, and we live lives of love, displaying that love with action and truth, then we are doing missions.  In the best possible way.  It’s simple, yet so very complex.  It’s living as Christ did, following His example, leading people to the Father of their souls. 
While attending some missions training recently, we discussed the meaning of incarnational living.  It took me a while, but it has recently “clicked” with me- incarnational living is just what I’ve been pondering.  It’s living a life of lavish love, serving with the heart of Christ.  No missions formula could ever come close to the power of that simple equation.
This is not anything NEW, really.  Just a refresher, a reminder, a new life breathed into a previously learned truth.  A word with a brand new relevance for me. 
Interested in a little more reading on “Lavish?”  Check THIS OUT.  Apparently, lavishing love is a two-way street.  How very inspirational.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lavishly Loved

This afternoon, Elijah and I were having a “cuddle nap.”  Basically, that means that we snuggled together on the couch, huddled under blankets, and pretended to sleep.  Every now and then he “woke up” and asked a question, about such things as two trees falling in the woods at the same time (can they hold each other up?). 
Somewhere around the 17th wake-up, he repeated to me an oft-used phrase in our home.  “Mom,” he said, “I love you to infinity and beyond!”
It’s not the first time I’ve heard that, of course, and I love it.  Every. Single. Time.  But this afternoon, I had a new thought.  I thought about how that’s kind of a silly phrase, that no one can really love someone beyond infinity.  Infinity is FOREVER. 
But then it hit me.  God loves us beyond infinity.  Really and truly beyond.  I’m not certain that’s even possible to really understand. 
As I sat there, fake sleeping, I thought of this verse:
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I looked at my son, snuggled beside me, and knew that in that moment he felt lavishly loved, because I was taking time in the middle of the afternoon to do nothing but love him.  He craves this kind of love, this kind of touch.  I was meeting his needs, by BEING there. 
And guess what?  I think it’s pretty awesome that my heavenly Father meets my needs every single day, just by being there.  He lavishes his love on me in so many ways, and sometimes I am aware of those ways.  Other times, I really need to be reminded that being there is a gift.  If gift of love.
~insert laundry break~
Upon further speculation, I had one more thought, and that was this:
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What would happen if we did this ^^^^  lavishly?  What if we lavishly loved others with our actions, and with truth? 
What do you think?  How do you lavishly love?

In the Beginning…

I’m writing this post from a house that will soon no longer be mine.  I’m sitting in an armchair that will soon belong to another person. I’m typing this on a computer that will soon be sold to a friend.  Life is changing around here... and that was the understatement of the millennium.
Here’s the thing.  Our family is preparing to move.  To a destination as yet unknown.  I can’t even believe I just said that, honestly, but it’s happening, and every day I wake up a little closer to The Last Days.

There will be many of them, these Last Days.  The Last Day in our house, The Last Day in Indiana, The Last Day in the States, The Last Day of raising missionary support and packing boxes. 

Wait, what was that I just said?  Missionary support.  Did you catch that?  Surreal.  Scary, too.  It all started years ago…  I think.  The truth is I don’t really know when it started or how we got here.  At least, not in a way I can coherently describe.  But we ARE here.  Even though I’m not certain yet where HERE is.

Anyhow, here are some facts about us and our journey thus far.

  • When I say “we” I mean the hubs, Don, myself (Alyssa), and the youngest 2 kiddos.  Milena is 7 and Elijah is 5, though that is bound to change just a bit over time.  Our eldest is 18, and while she may be mentioned in this blog occasionally, she’s not part of the moving wes.
  • We are a family that has been lavishly loved by God, and we want to serve Him any way we can, because we love Him too, though admittedly not as lavishly as He loves us.
  • We are currently living in central Indiana (USA) although that appears to be in transition (see above).
  • We are currently in the process of being analyzed interviewed by some really cool people who love Jesus like we do and will hopefully be inviting us to serve Him with them.  More details to follow on this endeavor.
  • We are currently learning Spanish and trying to believe that some day we’ll actually be able to say more then “Donde esta los servicios” or “Cuanto Cuesta Esto?”  Oh, and being able to understand the answers to those question might be nice too.

If you’re reading this, thanks for coming along on the journey.  I hope there is a lot more news to post very soon.