These words have echoed in my mind over and over and over the last several days as I struggle to write anything.
Half written posts smolder like coals in my drafts folder. Neither catching aflame nor dying out; and I wrestle on if they are even meant for human consumption.
This is a hard thing, this not having words. I feel more as if my heart is mute – it has things to say but isn’t permitted.
[photo by Jenny Rain]
Some days I’m overwhelmed by Grace. Caught up in the avalanche of it. Some days grace is like a slow spring day sprinkling of rain. It’s beads trace my cheeks as I gaze into the sky.
Have you ever stopped to consider the grace that permits us to pray? A grace that torn asunder the separation that stood between man and a Holy God? No longer are we segregated by linens. We have direct relationship with God, Jesus our Holy High Priest.
Today, a friend (Russ) is on a flight to the Horn of Africa for the next week & a half, where he will minister in a highly Muslim populated area. While there he’ll be assisting a partner of the Austin Stone who currently serves through medical assistance, fitness, and women’s development. As you may know, this area of Africa holds a very special place in Russ & Elora’s heart as they are in the process of adopting from this region.
His wife, Elora, was also supposed to go on the trip, but due to a Gall Bladder infection had surgery to have it removed this past Tuesday afternoon.
I am asking that you would pray for Russ and the rest of the workers over the next couple weeks. Pray for safety, peace, encouragement, health, and open hearts both for the team serving as well as the people they are ministering to. Please also pray for Elora as she heals, that the healing would be quick and without any problems.
Thank you so much!
And now I have test results that prove it.
This past weekend I took a in-depth personality test. A 200+ questionnaire that measured my personality, my strengths, my brain hemisphere function. And with a great deal of accuracy my life was laid out in color pictures and graphs.
The results? My Meyers-Briggs says I’m an INFP (Introverted/iNtuition/Feeling/Perceiving). I’ve taken the Meyers-Briggs test before and have been categorized an INFJ. I think that at any given time [considering my mood, the situation, etc] I could be either. However, as I said there was a great deal of accuracy in the results. I’m right brain dominant, learn easiest by doing.
I’m in a personality group that makes up only 2% of the general population (Shawn who is an INTJ is in only 1%). According to their stats, I’m less extroverted than the general INFP population – 5% (me) compared to 25% (general INFP’s). I’m also heavier in feeling than the general INFP population (74% compared to 66%).
I share this with you not to bore you with numbers you don’t care about but because I find it interesting. Things in my personality that I’d see glimmer, I now see on “paper” and the link forms of “oh, that’s why I spend my drive home day dreaming” or “oh, that’s why I get nervous and want to get sick when I’m forced to meet new people”.
God wrote all of this into my DNA. From being comfortable in small, intimate groups to day dreaming.
I’ve noticed myself start to analyze my thoughts and actions now in light of these results. I wonder at other people’s personalities and wish I had this insight to them.
One of the interesting things is in the results it gives you names of people that fall into your personality group. I think I’m in some good company with people like J.R.R. Tolkien, Helen Keller, King David, the Apostles Luke & John, and Mary the mother of Jesus.
It also gives fictional characters. Some of these make me laugh and smile with characters like E.T., Calvin from the Calvin & Hobbs cartoon strip, Luke Skywalker, and Fox Mulder from X-Files.
I’d recommend this test. And if you’re married I recommend both you and your spouse taking it. For me understanding the nitty-gritty of how Shawn is wired helps me in day-to-day interactions with him. I think it’s worth the $30 in all honesty.
The one who always trusts, who’s solely surrendered to God with allegiance to no idols. Who never fears, who always hopes. Who fights the injustices of the world.
Not the person I am – a wanderer with a likelihood to fear. Who loses hope, placing my passions in things other than God. A whore to cheap things.
But I’m learning that by His grace He transforms my life to be like the Christian I want to be.
Because of His grace I see my sin. If not for His grace He’d allow me to sit in my sin. Instead He shows it to me. He convicts me, and in the same breath of my repentance His grace pours down upon me.
Because of His grace I can become more like Him.
Do you remember 20 years ago? No one had cell phones. Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace weren’t even figments of a person’s imagination. 20 years ago the internet was fairly new to the mainstream. I got my first cell phone in 1997. A heavy piece of Motorola technology. My minute charges varied by where I called in the city. All I could do was take & place phone calls.
Today in the not quite yet “George Jetson” era of 2011 my life, like yours, is wrapped up in technology. Nearly everything I do from the moment the morning alarm goes off on my cell to the last check of Twitter and/or Instamgram is inundated with some form of technology.
Technology isn’t a bad thing and is of course extremely useful, but there are times we just need to unplug ourselves lest we be led to destruction by it.
March 4 – 5th, is Nat’l Day of Unplugging. 24 hours to remove yourself from technology and invest yourself in your family, your friends, yourself. The Nat’l Day of Unplugging was started by a Jewish organization called Sabbath Manifesto. They took the commandment of God and applied it to technology.
This year Shawn and I will be participating. Our cells will be on silent (used only in the case of an emergency). Tweets will be untweeted. Our laptops & computer will remain off.
If you’re interested in participating and wondering what you could possibly do for 24 hours without Twitter or text messaging check out this article.
Also let me know if you’ll be unplugging also. Before Friday at sundown of course.
When I last wrote about my dream I had questions. While I received an answer back on the question I’d asked I feel as though I was left with more questions and more struggle. I’ve been wrestling through this passion God’s given me and how He wants me to put it into practice.
I believe this weekend my question(s) changed though. For the last month I’ve been asking what am I supposed to do with this. Looking back I see that in some elements this is me seeking how to do it in my own power [hint: this never really goes well].
I feel that it’s time to share that passion that I feel God is fueling to be my dream.
About a year ago God heavily placed orphan care on our hearts. It’s something that has grown in intensity. We read all we can, we follow people who are doing adoption & orphan care advocacy. Our hearts break and tear at that stats we hear. We believe God has called us to do something.
For me (and the both of us) these stats are overwhelming. I wonder how I can make any difference to such a huge problem. Especially when I know I we’re supposed to do something, knowing that if doing something only touches one life it still makes a world of difference.
I feel that God wants to lead me into something with adoption & orphan care advocacy. It is very general and broad and I’m still left with lots of questions as to how [especially since i have no sense of entrepreneurialism] .
Saturday Shawn and I sat over chips & salsa and a shared Mexican mini-appetizer plate. We discussed what we’d heard so far from the speakers at !C//Orphan. We discussed the overwhelmingness of the emergency that is set before us. And he brought up new ways we should be asking our questions. From “What am I supposed to do?” to “Lord, what would you have me do?” They are the same question but one as I said earlier puts the weight on me, while the other Jesus power is behind it.
So once again I ask for your prayers as we both seek God’s guidance. Pray that fear would have no part in our seeking. Pray that we would have open hearts to where God leads. One thing I plan to do over the next several weeks is to contact people who are doing adoption & orphan care advocacy and see how I can get involved.
This weekend there is a gathering of like minded individuals meeting with The !dea Camp about ending the orphan crisis.
Adoption and orphan care is something that God has placed very heavily on my heart. He’s brought a number of people into my life that are in the process of adopting (Elora & Russ [adoption site] & Erin & Chris).
One thing that God is teaching me over and over is that He adopted me. He brought me from the dregs of life into the inheritance of a King. Through His grace and compassion for us He adopted us.
His grace overflowed for us. He adopted us and has sent the Holy Spirit to serve as a form of orphan care as we walk the road of sanctification until we reach the day of inheritance.
Fridays are my worst day to blog. In other words I rarely have a post on Fridays. In order to resolve that I’m planning to have a reoccurring topic on Fridays called Elements of Grace. In this my hope is to post more often on Fridays and focus my heart and mind more on my One Word.
I’ve decided that by deciding to participate in One Word 2011 I’ve opened my life up to the Holy Spirit to come in and rearrange this life I’ve so magnificently laid out. Convictions happen more frequently. I’m stopping to think before thinking, speaking, etc. I find myself more grieved over sin that is both subtlety and blatantly not acts of grace [in addition to other sin].
This wasn’t something I expected. I believe my expectations were that I would magically just start having grace towards people. I never took into account that it meant purging anything out.
Have you noticed God purging out sin in your life via your One Word?
My daily reading plan includes three chapters in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament. I’m currently reading through Genesis, 2 Chronicles, Psalm, & Acts.
Last night I was reading 2 Chronicles 18. It is the story of King Ahab, the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah. In short King Ahab asks King Jehoshaphat to go to war with him. Both kings bring in their prophets to ask if they should go into battle and if they will be successful. All the prophets say that they should go and that they will be successful. Only King Jehoshaphat’s prophet tells King Ahab that he will die in battle. Needless to say, Ahab dies. At the beginning of chapter 19, a different prophet comes to King Jehoshaphat and rebukes him.
The rebuke was that he helped the wicked and love those who hate the Lord. A similar rebuke happened in chapter 16 of Jehoshaphat’s father, King Asa.
King Asa ended up getting a serious foot disease. The chapter ends with Asa’s death.
I was thinking about the difference in the rebukes. They are similar, but different. They were delivered by the same man. Asa receives a serious health condition. Jehoshaphat receives an encouragement.
The only major difference I can see is the difference of heart. Asa refused to repent. Samuel doesn’t say whether Jehoshaphat repented or not, but as far as I can tell with what I’ve read he must have.
Lack of repentance has serious consequences. God is always ready to forgive. Why do we refuse to repent especially when we know the consequences may be worse than if we did repent?
This year Shawn and I will celebrate being a couple 14 years and our tenth anniversary. We’ve fought for our marriage, for our couplehood. In truth the years haven’t necessarily come easily.
As with any relationship you work to make it work. Each person sacrifices their will for the others. When done right it’s a beautiful dance.
I’m not always the perfect dance partner and neither is he. We do our best.
Without a doubt I’d rather have no one else as we move across the dance floor. He is the only one I ever want to come home to. The one I want to envelope me, and hold me after a long day. He’s the one I want to celebrate with. The one I’d always rather be with.
I love the way he makes me laugh, and his smile [what first cause my heart to skip and my breath to sigh] still sends me into a whirlpool. After 14 years he can still make me melt into a puddle.
Happy Valentine’s my Love.
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.