Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Reactions and Choices

Recently, I’ve been taking some time to look back on my life and revisit how I reacted to certain events, and how my reaction changed the outcome. 

What has stood out to me during this reflection is that I have a choice how I will react.   There is always a moment (sometimes just a spilt second) when I have to choose how I will react.  It’s easy to say something like “I just reacted.  I didn’t choose it… I just exploded/laughed/was mean.”  Or, “I can’t help how I reacted.  They just made me so angry.”  But the truth is, I have a choice.  There is always that moment, the split second (or longer) when I know I am faced with a choice about what I will say or do in the next moments.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I used to think that the fruit of the Spirit would automatically begin displaying itself in the lives of every follower of Christ, because the Spirit lives in each of us.  I am seeing more then ever that we must still make the choice.  I must make the choice in each challenging situation how to react- this is self control!  Self control is not the Spirit taking over my body and forcing a reaction upon me.  Self control is pausing in that moment of aggravation or frustration to listen to the voice of the Spirit and choosing to react in a way that honors Christ. I must choose my reaction.  You must choose your reaction.  If we ask Him, the Holy Spirit will teach us how to use our moment of choice to stop and listen.


Our family recently went through a huge shift in our ministry situation.  Through the month-long process of making decisions and dealing with frustrating circumstances, we were faced with choices about our reaction every single day.  Sometimes so many times in one day, our heads were spinning. But looking back, it is clear to me that our reactions made a huge difference in how events unfolded.  I’m happy to say that we responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and reacted accordingly.  There is no doubt that if we had reacted badly, the outcome would have been far more unpleasant. 

John 15:8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

It’s encouraging to look back and see how I have grown in my walk with Christ.  How about you?  How do you react to frustrating situations, and how has your reaction affected the outcome? In what ways are you bearing fruit?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Things I Liked (or didn’t) This Week

Here’s a few of our highlights and blurbs from around the web this week.

I liked that we are now residents of Bulgaria!  Woo-Hoo!

I liked spending time with new friends and getting to know them better.

I liked the Lego Bash party at the Mann’s and the excitement of my kids before and after.


I didn’t like the exchange rates and the way they affected our weekly budget.  Praying they stabilize.

I liked the way This Article made me think.

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

October In Photos

My apologies for the blog neglect lately!  I promise to catch up soon.  In the meantime, here are photos of our October.









Updates to follow!  Thanks for stopping by!

Don and Alyssa

Monday, October 14, 2013

Another Guest Post: Easing Transitions

I have another guest post up at Missionary Mom’s Companion.  I meant to post this earlier and it slipped my mind, but you can still go and check it out HERE.

Here’s a excerpt from my post:

Our family is new to the field, and there was one thing that we did while leaving that made all the difference. We took a 3 day mini vacation just before catching our overseas flight.

I read this suggestion online from Laura Parker, a seasoned missionary mom. Laura was sharing the idea in the context of “things we wish we had done,” and the idea immediately resonated with me. When we left the US to come to Bulgaria, we were leaving the only home my kids had ever known. It was my husband’s first overseas move. It was my first time overseas in more than a decade. It was a LOT to process.
The long weekend away was just what we needed.

You can read the rest of the post HERE.

Friday, October 11, 2013

What $35 Will Buy At Lidl

My grocery-related posts seem to be popular, and I understand why.  I’m fascinated by how these things work in other countries too.  Last night, Milena and I went to our favorite local store to pick up a few things, so when I got home, I took a picture for posterity.
We spent about $35 USD, and this is what we bought (weight conversions are estimates):
8 lb squash (not pictured)
22 liters of water (not pictured)
36 oz bag of cornflakes
24 oz Honey Cheerio-like cereal
3-12oz containers of Yogurt
6 oz bag of pretzels
16 ct. pack of hot dogs
1 Loaf of Bread
1 Bunch of Green Onions
1 lb Onions
2 lb Potatoes
2 Cucumbers
1 Head of Lettuce
4 lemons
2 lbs Oatmeal
5 Doughnuts (an unusual treat!)
10 oz. Mayonnaise
2 lbs Local Cheese
80 ct. Cleaning Wipes
I also bought tortillas (16 tortillas for $4) and Butter (2 lbs for $8) but I had to go to a different store for those.  Items like meat and butter definitely raise the total bill.  We often try to make our own tortillas, but it’s time consuming and sometimes we just can’t make it happen.  It’s much cheaper when we do though!
I hope you enjoyed this little peek into everyday life in Sofia!