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Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

Some of you know that Shmoopy and I have decided to give up the safety of Suburbia and simply follow where the Holy Spirit leads…no matter the cost.  There are several reasons for this decision, but that’s another post for another day. (We actually intend to start a blog about this new journey of ours. Stay tuned.)  Well, we’ve been earnestly praying and seeking God’s will as to what He would have us do and where He would have us do it.  We feel pretty sure that we are called to live among the poor, but we have not known whether that would be in inner-city America, Cambodia, Kenya or somewhere else.  We’ve done massive amounts of research in addition to our prayers in the last month in hopes that a door would open.  We still don’t have an open door, but we may have been told today which direction to look in, which is a HUGE answer to prayer when you consider how big this world of ours is!

The answer began on day last week.  I was getting anxious and depressed because I felt like we weren’t feeling any direction for our journey.  I fell asleep one night praying, begging, that God would tell us where to go.  We didn’t care where; we would definitely go if He would just tell us where.  The next morning, I awoke with a single word running through my mind very loudly, very clearly: BRAZIL, BRAZIL, BRAZIL…

This had happened to me once before in answer to earnest prayer, but, again, that’s another post for another day.  Honestly, I kind of thought to myself that God wouldn’t make it that easy for me and I had probably just read something about Brazil and it was just a subconscious response.  Brazil wasn’t even on our radar; it wasn’t one of the places we had found possible opportunities.  So I dismissed the notion that God may be calling us to go to Brazil, and didn’t even mention it to Shmoopy.

Then this morning as we were in the car on our way to San Antonio for a house church conference, I was praying again, begging God to just tell us where He wanted us to go, and we would go.  All of a sudden, a picture flashed in my mind for the briefest of seconds.  However, brief, though, it was a very clear picture.  It was the huge statue of Jesus that overlooks Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  My thoughts were:

1. That was weird.

2. Hey, that thing’s in Brazil and I had Brazil on my mind the other morning. Weird!

3.Again, I’m just trying to make something out of nothing because I want so desperately for God to reveal our destination to us.

So, again, I dismissed the notion that this was possibly an answer to our earnest prayers and didn’t even mention it to Shmoopy.

Then, this afternoon, as we were on a hot bus taking a tour of house churches in San Antonio, I received the following message from my dear friend Kyle (who happens to be at the Q conference in Chicago with his wife this week):

“If you all are interested in being missionaries to a hot zone, research Rio de Janeiro. Home of the 2016 Olympics.  One of the most beautiful cities in the world and also one of the most dangerous.  And they need Jesus in a big way!”

Shmoopy and I were talking, I can’t remember who was in mid-sentence, but whomever it was stopped.  He could see the utter shock on my face and my eyes welling with tears, so he asked me what was wrong.  I tried my best to explain all of the above to him through my tears and hyperventilation.  It was as if God were telling met o “WAKE UP!  I KEEP TELLING YOU WHERE TO GO AND YOU KEEP ASKING AGAIN!!!  GO TO BRAZIL!”

I’m not sure what all this means, but I do know that Shmoopy and I will be fervently researching Rio de Janeiro while continuing to pray for the Holy Spirit’s continued leading.  Man, God is always so faithful to us, and I don’t just mean Shmoopy and I.  He’s faithful to all of us.  And what an adventure it is to finally trust Him with EVERYTHING!

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The Help

Two days before Sissy was born, my 17 year-old niece moved in with us very unexpectedly, like with 2 hours notice.  It was definitely not the best timing for us or our immediate family, but emergencies never are.  We took her in and did everything we could think of to make her feel like part of the family.  We moved our office into our bedroom so she could have her own bedroom.  We scurried to get her enrolled in our local high school since it started the following week (yes, I was up doing this 24 hours after giving birth!).  We kept in contact with her teachers to make sure she was doing well in her classes and even attended her open house.  We took her to dentist and eye doctor appointments.  We made innumerable phone calls and filled out several applications to make sure she had proper healthcare coverage.  We took her to her grandma’s house on Tuesdays so she could spend time with her.  We invited her to every family activity we did while she lived with us.  We set a few ground rules when necessary, but, for the most part, tried to respect the fact that she had done pretty well for herself the last seventeen years and didn’t need micro-managing.  We tried our hardest to tell her daily and show her daily that we loved her.

However, no matter what we said or did, it never seemed to make a difference to her.  When she came home from school, she would either lock herself in her room, sit in front of the computer or go next door to the neighbor’s house.  Our questions about her day were met with grunts (sometimes literally) and almost unintelligible, mono-syllabic answers.  Whenever the occasion arose that she had to sit and talk with us, she would simply tell us what she thought we wanted to hear in order to get away as quickly as possible.  But when she needed something from us, she was always right there willing to talk in order to not seem rude by asking for what she wanted.

Before she moved out last month (against our wishes for her well-being), Shmoopy and I discussed her poor attitude toward us and her seeming ingratitude.  I realize she’s a teenager, and that’s how many teenagers are; I just didn’t appreciate it because I wasn’t that way as a teenager (as a matter of fact, I think I talked my Nanny’s ear off).  In our discussion, one of us made the comment that “she treats us like we’re the help.”  She spoke to us when she felt it necessary and ignored us when she didn’t.  Sometimes she made us feel like strangers in our own house.

Since that conversation, I have felt extremely convicted by the Holy Spirit.  As I examine my daily routine, I think that God could easily say about me, “she treats Me like I’m the help.”  I talk to God throughout each day, and read my Bible almost everyday.  However, especially since I had children, I rarely take the time to just sit down and listen to what He would like to say to me.  I have been treating Him like a stranger in His own house (my heart).  Starting this week, I am taking steps to change this.  I am going to try each day not just to tell Him “please” and “thank you”, but to sit and listen to what He has to say to me.  I am going to spend less time watching mindless television and listening to the radio so that I can hear Him.  I am going to stop treating Him like the help and start treating Him like my Father, my Savior and my Friend.  I think I deserved as much respect from my niece, but I’m quite certain that He deserves it from me!

PS – For more background on our experiences on having our niece live with us, check out Shmoopy’s blogs about her, her open house, and a creepy story.

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