Tuesday, August 30, 2016

September Writing Plan

Well, to be quite honest I blew the August writing plan. Between travel and picking up the formidable  illness Mono, I have quite given up on it. I have not however given up on my Scripture reading. I will continue posting these through to the end of the year for those of you who may be finding them of use in your spiritual walk. I might jump back in after awhile, or I might try the lazy way and try typing instead of writing. Either way and no matter what, here's to more of God's powerful words in our daily lives!

(originally from swtblessings.com)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Child of Weakness

Three months married and what do I have to say about it?

Life is so unexpected. (a lot can happen in three months even).

Unconditional love cannot be explained, only experienced.

Jesus paid it all.

Believe it or not, those three things connect. I should have known better to think this, but I thought that marriage at this point in my life would finally bring me a little bit of predictability. I thought, at least now I know where I will be living for awhile, and that at the end of the day we know we come home to each other. It isn't that those things haven't turned out to be true, but they definitely haven't shielded us from the unforeseeable. 

next month. next month. next month.

That's what we've been saying when it comes to pulling ahead financially or finally having the security of a resident and work permit for me here in Switzerland. But just when I'm like, "ok, I got this one", yet another appears on the horizon. And they've been coming at us since...always...I can't even remember the first one.

It's such a wonderful life. Those hurdles though. I am so tired.

Enter unconditional love. A couple of weeks ago my body flat out said, no more hurdles. It has, in its revolt however, simply created another hurdle which I must stubbornly fight to cross. Focusing on nutrition and rest I hope to fly over that hurdle sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, I'm weak, totally dependent, and can't help feeling like a purposeless, delicate shrivelled flower. Having someone there for me, loving me, serving me in spite of what I simply cannot give in return, is nice in many ways and somewhat humiliating too. The situation however is causing me to realise. Maybe some of those hurdles which are wearing me out, are ones that existed only in my imagination.

Jesus paid it all. My teenage self really thought the Christian journey is one of new revelation and studying God's Word was about digging for those little nuggets I'd never realised before. With every year that goes by, I'm realising more and more it so much less about new revelation and so much more just like layers being peeled away and you see something clearer, which you already knew was there. This is the only way I can explain my discovery of Jesus' love. I knew from day one he loved me. It was that love I'm sure, which drew me even as a small child. But as an adult, feeling the weight of responsibilities of adulting, yet physically weak, and admittedly sensing myself to be spiritually dry, I am so keenly aware -- I have nothing to offer in return. It bothers me. It bothers me a lot. It bothers me a lot more than it should.

But that's why I started thinking about the words Jesus paid it all. And I started to think of it in light of those imaginary hurdles I'd been unnecessarily jumping over. I think they were simply my imaginings of what a "solid Christian adult" should be. They were perfectionism and fear. And it's like the only way God could erase them from my horizon, was by showing me my weakness. Bringing me to a dead stop. And giving me more than enough time to reconsider what I was assuming was reality. 

And that's when I heard the Saviour say,
...“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

And now complete in Him,
My robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.

It is in no way, as if I now have been granted the permission to "ease up" in living for Jesus. I am simply learning a simpler way, more peaceful way. Marriage being one of my teachers,  I am learning  for example, that expectations are not a result of love. And when I sense my expectations of others dictating how I feel about them, I stop and ask myself if that's how I think Jesus' deals with me. I use to beg Him to make me a good little girl and then wonder why he didn't. Now, the freedom He has given me to choose Him day after day, moment by moment, shows me the power of true love. Love without expectation. Because of his unconditional love, Jesus paid it all which makes life's unpredictability less of a scary thing and more like a beautiful mystery. Loosening my hold definitely makes this crazy life more enjoyable. 

Aaaaand it looks like another layer just peeled away from some of my favourite verses.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones."
                                            Proverbs 3:5-8

Hymn, Jesus Paid it All, Elvina M. Hall 1865
Photo, by Ádám Biri

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Around Town

our local edition of the olympics -duck gymnastics

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Spoiler: We're Moving!

Top 3 Reasons I am and will be Posting Less (for a couple of weeks)

So I was on a roll there for a while with writing and posting in spite of still not having a functioning computer. You've seen a little bit less of me the last couple weeks or so and you probably will the next couple of weeks, but don't go away!  I'll be back!

In case you're interested, here's what up.

1. Darling hubby is working SO hard both studying for exams and racking up the work hours so he can prove to Swiss immigration that he makes enough to support me, which will hopefully in turn help me receive the permission to stay in Switzerland long term. But, this also means he uses his laptop (the only functioning computer between us) pretty much 7 days a week for most our waking hours.

2. WE ARE MOVING! Today and tomorrow! We are so excited to have found a little apartment across the border in Switzerland. You really can not imagine how excited I am to have a little place to make our nest and first "home sweet home". It is an ooold apartment building with lots of character. The highlights for me, are the green heart shutters, the wood flooring and paneling, and the lake access. I'm sure I will be documenting this #projectmakeithome either here and/or on Instagram, so follow along! (Yes, and please pray I will quickly be granted the permission to stay and work in Switzerland. Thanks!)

3. Next week I have the chance to go to Hungary, and if you know me you know I don't pass up chances to go back to this beautiful country. It will be my first time back since our wedding and I'm looking forward to catching up with friends.

Hope everybody's having a great summer in spite of the presidential campaigns and impending doom, (Ok, ok I know, stay positive) and all this other crazy stuff going on in our world.  Enjoy every day as another day to serve and enjoy God!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

To My Single Friends

I want to thank all of you for sharing our newlywed happiness, even if it highlights something left wanting in your own life. I want to thank you for allowing me to indulge in joyful outbursts of newlyweddedness, for restraining the eye rolling over my uber-sappiness, and for having patience with our friendship, as Bernát has become a bigger and bigger part of my life.

It's funny, sort of, how before I was married it seemed like everyone else already was. I mean I had other single friends, but we felt so much in the minority in our circles. Now, every once in a while I pause my jubilant exultations of newlyweddness and look around me. And there you are. And you. And you. And you. None of you have even once said anything to make me pity you or which made me feel somehow guilty for my own happiness. But somehow, I do feel sorry. And sad I can't literally share this happiness with you. I don't actually pity you. Who needs pity? But I burn a flame of hope for you in my heart, for your desires to be seen, met, or taken away according to God's plan. Though when I'm completely honest, I truly hope you can experience this same joy one day and I can't help hoping that is God's plan.

I want you to know that I don't take my husband for granted. Ah ha now you are rolling your eyes, because nobody for a moment of listening to my rejoicing newlywedded self ever thought that I was taking him for granted. But I mean it. I mean that I realize he is a gift I've done nothing to deserve. There was no one thing I did right to deserve this kind of happiness. There was no spiritual breakthrough of learning once and for all to be content and then Voila! a husband for me. There was no particular prayer I prayed except the ones you are also praying right now.

I want you to know I'll be honest with you. Some people can make their marriages out to be perfect and issue-less, which makes it seem ever more of an end-all, an all inclusive satisfying package for completing you as a person and giving your life meaning. It isn't. And I truly believe Christ completes me and brings my life true happiness. But on the other hand, who are we kidding? From our perspective life is better with someone than without anyone, no matter how we slice it. No matter how many people who seem to have the opposite problem of the aformentioned couples, tell you that you're better off. You know the ones whose marriages are just one big issue and they can't stop repeating, "Ok, but marriage is really hard work," even after you've told them you believe it and are actually becoming terrified at the thought of it. I'm pretty sure my marriage will go through seasons just like everyone else's does, but I'm praying even now for the grace just to let it be what it is in other people's eyes, and I hope I can both find and offer empathy to others who've gone through similar seasons. 

I love seeing you living your life to the fullest. There is probably nothing I enjoy more than watching people be called out by God, to a higher purpose than their parents could have ever dreamed for them, for greater things than they themselves ever thought possible. As I myself serve the Lord in the way He has called me to, I love to see people living out God's calling and I love to encourage them as they many times have encouraged me. Some of you don't struggle with your singleness as much as others, but I hope in some way I can be there for you in that fleeting moment of loneliness.  I'm so very glad you are able to see the purpose God has for you far above and beyond the purpose in marriage. It's strange really, that technically, in one day I went from the unmarried category to the married category. I really don't feel so very far from you. I love you all and my heart dreams with yours. As I close, I'm praying for you, and purposing to pray for you just a little bit more every day.

Love Always,

Ps...There's so much more I feel I want to say, but words are starting to feel like "just words". There are some of you who have experienced the happiness of love and lost it. I've been through hard break ups, but I can't understand fully what you've been through. I want you to know I'm attempting to hear you. Such an intense joy snatched away can only be intense loss. I'm thinking of you and praying for you too.
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