asurprisecalling

Following our calling to the Dominican Republic


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That time when God said, “Be still and shut up”….

IMG_8008I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but I have been very quiet lately.  No Facebook, no Instagram, and no blog posts.

“Be still and know that I am God”  Psalm 46:10

For quite some time now, I have been vaguely hearing God ask me to “Be Still”.  In fact, we ask our mission teams to come up with one word that describes their trip, or a word that God is speaking to them.  With the last two teams, my word has been “Still”.  I wasn’t exactly sure what He meant because I couldn’t quite hear Him over all of the hullabaloo of my world.  Yes, my current culture is much, much louder than my passport culture.  However, that wasn’t the noise that was preventing me from hearing His voice.  It was too much scrolling, not enough quietude…too much talking, not enough listening…too much doing, not enough being.

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For many years, I have been wanting to do a silent retreat.  I have asked numerous friends to do one with me.  Each time, my lady friends laugh and say, “I don’t think that I could be quiet for that long.”  It’s true…when women get together, we just want to talk and talk, and then talk some more.  It’s one of our favorite things.  We have a love for words that men just can’t seem to understand.

I mentioned all of this to my best missionary friend here, and she thought that it was a fabulous idea.  She had been hearing God telling her to “Be Still” also.  So, we marked a weekend off on our calendars, made a plan, and met up for this interestingly, strange weekend of quiet.  To prepare for that weekend, I decided that it would be good to cut off social media to begin to quiet my mind.

Also, in complete transparency, we decided on 24 hours of silence.  I mean, we were at the beach without husbands, kids, or ministry pulling on us.  We couldn’t NOT talk at all…

We met on Friday at our little resort around lunchtime.  During lunch, we came up with our rules and schedule.  After lunch, there was no talking until lunchtime the next day.IMG_8010

During this time, we could pray and journal.  We agreed to no music (because that was more noise) and no books (because that was still words).  We stayed in the same room, and went for a walk early Saturday morning.  We ate dinner and breakfast together, and even sat beside each other in our lounge chairs on the beach.  ALL of this was done without talking.  FYI, eating with someone without talking is very difficult and awkward!

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We were both happily surprised at all that we were able to experience with God.  Once we cut out all of the distractions and commotion and sat quietly with Him, God spoke into our hearts.  In that short 24 hours period, He healed some wounds, spoke many truths, and showed us how He was molding us closer to His image.  Life is not perfect, and neither are we!  I am so thankful for that truth.  God loves His broken people because they know that they need Him.  I am thankful to be one of those broken people!

He showed me how He has provided for us here in the DR in so many ways. One of those ways was simply being able to go away with a friend that loves God, lives and understands this crazy life we are living, and loves so many of the things that I love. This friendship is so special to me.  I am in complete awe that God cares so much for me that He would send me a friend here in the DR to love.  That seems like such a minute detail in His grande plan. It was important to Him because it was important to me. I fell more in love with Him that weekend!IMG_7993IMG_7994After sitting in silence and coming back together to share what God had spoken to us, we did a craft.  Then we just filled the rest of the time with words.  Neither of us was ready for our time to come to an end, but life was calling.

I still haven’t ventured back into the Facebook or Instagram world yet.  I am sure that I will eventually because I miss seeing all of the people that I love.  I just don’t feel like it’s time yet.

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 Could you do a silent retreat?  We are considering doing another one in the Spring.  If you are interested in attending, let me know!



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Why I wish life was like Facebook…

Today was a rough day.  Actually, this week has been a rough week.  As the time to move gets closer, my emotions are changing like the wind.  Not having someone living near me that has done this before, I have no guide on “what to expect next”.  So, I am just swimming through it…getting it “right” one day…then “wrong” the next day.  Some days I swim, and some days I sink completely to the bottom.

Something happened in real life today…and I let it trickle onto Facebook.  Normally, I don’t take my anger to FB.  It feels passive/aggressive…which is just an easy way out for me.  A way that I am trying to change.  A way that really never solves anything for me.

I had a friend immediately text me to ask if my post was about her post.  Then it dawned on me…many people could be reading this and think it’s about them too.  Then, I have all these people thinking that I am mad at them…blah, blah, blah!  See…it solves nothing!  In actuality, it’s not the easy way out.  As opposed to addressing the person that hurt me directly and dealing with one friend, now I have numerous friends thinking that I might be mad at them. (If I upset you, I am sorry)

So…I deleted my comment.

Don’t you wish that life was like FB?  If you say something wrong or make a mistake…you just delete it.  How many times have you been in a conversation and someone says something and you don’t know how to respond?  Well, if life was like FB, then you would have a few “tries” before responding.  On FB, you can type something out.  If it doesn’t sound right, you just delete it and try again until it feels right.

The only flaw with my plan (yeah, right, there is only one flaw) is that, on FB, the words are already out  there…people have already seen them…and felt them…and possibly been hurt by them…even if you delete them.  These are humans with human emotions where mistakes are not always forgiven and feelings get hurt.

That’s what I love about God.  He sees ALL of my comments…the ones that are spoken aloud or written…and the ones on my heart that only He and I can hear.  Somehow, He forgives me EVERY time.  Then He reminds me:

“Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” James 1:19

Keeping my anger and words in check would probably be a better choice than turning life into FB…and there will be a whole lot less “poking” going on too!