Sometimes the most significant moments are the ones we overlook.
It all boils down to this very moment. The sweat. The grind. They end here. For this purpose we carry out our daily marching orders. Like the fine mechanisms of a clock our gears turn in perfect harmony…
The shadows seem to dance around the fire. Perfect little faces stare in my direction, barely outlined by the orange glow emanating from the small fire. My son Caleb pours river sand on my lap, seeking my attention but his attempt is feeble. My heart is preoccupied capturing this moment to create a perfect memory; a memory I hope to retain for all eternity.
Our Heavenly Father is so very generous and my heart is on the verge of exploding because of His kindness!
My heart is so full. Full of hope. Full of His goodness. Full of zeal and passion. Naturally, the inspiration has kicked in and here I sit at the midnight hour drafting away. I sit here carefully assigning my heart to words that I pray will encourage you. Maybe these words will ignite a change in you, inspire you, or simply bring a glimmer of hope to a seemingly hopeless situation. I long to know the full extent of what my readers are going through…
Jessi Schwertfeger discusses how she is grateful for people and the significant, but sometimes messy, relationships we encounter in our day-to-day lives…
My beautiful, intelligent, and anointed friend and co-worker Jessi Schwertfeger is my guest contributor today. I am so grateful that she has written for Pretty Little Lemons despite the extremely busy season that she is in. She and I go back nearly a decade! We met at our Overland Missions’ Advanced Missions Training school early 2008 and we have done A LOT of life together. She and her husband Jacob Schwertfeger, along with their three beautiful children, are our head of operations in Africa (we both work for Overland Missions if you didn’t guess that already). They are such an amazing family and they have hearts of gold. This entry she has written communicates a large portion of her heart, which is people. Her heart is BIG and LOVING and she has a passion for people and to see relationships flourish in the body of Christ. So, here we go…
My pioneer heart is jealous for this village that pledged their lives to Islam
Human language cannot articulate or express the way I feel when I watch this video. The fire that burns deep within me wants to channel my inner James and John and ask Jesus to literally reign down fire… and consume… but the Spirit of God gently reminds me that He died for the men that are passionately preaching their set of beliefs to this rural village in Malawi. However, the depths of my heart cry out with the Spirit of God in protest to the Thief that comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy through this belief system we label Islam, but that’s why we have the pioneers…
Re-telling a story about one of the most beautiful women I met in the village in 2009 that touched my heart and I still think of her to this day…
So, I’m homeschooling. It’s not my first choice as far as educating my children goes (purely because I’m not a formally trained educator)… but it suits our lifestyle best considering all of the recent transitions. If we were still living on the base in Zambia I’d be homeschooling. There’s a very good chance that I will be homeschooling when we move back to Africa on a more permanent basis too. In certain instances good international schools can be found when overseas, but one generally has to be located near a big city. In our line of work, re-locating near a big city is quite the stretch because our focus is on rural communities, i.e., the wild bush where jackals and gazelles roam. I love the village. Sigh and pause for effect.
What does one do when they have an allergic reaction at 37,000 feet in the air? (Just a little light heartedness to brighten you day!)
My family and I are settling back into the land of the free! (Seriously people we are way freer than places like Myanmar and China). We arrived four days ago from South Africa after spending five months abroad in Asia and Africa. My heart is set on filling you in on our adventures. I’m also very keen to delve back into the deep issues of the heart, life, and the nations. I love hinging these important realities on thanksgiving and gratitude. It’s my favorite. Nevertheless, before I make that journey again, I’d like to share with you a light-hearted, comical story about our rather eventful flight to Orlando from South Africa. Besides, I’m a little rusty. What better way to kick start this intense season of writing with a little humor?
My personal reflection on The Killing Fields and why I’m so grateful that the Good News has come to this land.
I stand here in silence. The smell of incense wafts through the air as the wind blows tenderly across my face. I peer left to see the red stick of Asia gently burning; releasing its smoke into the world at large. Faces of helpless victims pierce my very soul as I force my eyes to gaze upon the memorial that holds the skulls of thousands. The Killing Fields…
A reminder to be thankful and to step outside of the box no matter the cost… to exchange the ordinary for the extraordinary.
Recently I sent my 30 day gratitude challenge to a most amazing and highly respected friend; a woman who truly taught me how to LOVE the Word of God. She quickly responded with an enthusiastic thank you and followed up with an excellent question… and I’m so happy she did. She asked, “Do you find yourself being thankful for the same things over and over?” My response, “YES!” At first I didn’t struggle wth continuously thanking God for the same things over and over. But now that I write a blog, the repetition presents a bit of a problem and I consciously fight feeling annoyed by it. You see God doesn’t care if I thank Him for the same things over and over again… but I’m pretty sure my readers would find me a bit annoying if I wrote every day or every week about how grateful I am for the same topic. Thankfully today I think I’ve got something new to be thankful for. I am thankful for people that have stepped outside of the box. People that have exchanged the cultural norm for something extraordinary in pursuit of the unknown and the unpredictable. I’m thankful for those that have gone before me and done these things. I can follow in their footsteps. They are the many examples that aid in increasing my faith to position myself and my family for our current adventures.
My friend and co-worker Stacy Moorhouse is contributing this week. She wrote on why she is grateful for being “homeless” at the moment. It’s such a cute blog and fun read.
I’m grateful for being homeless. But before I get into that allow me to share a beautiful quote with you.
“The life of faith must never stand still, for if your feet are going, your faith is growing.” – Warren Wiersbe
Jamie asked me to write about what I’m grateful for, and at the moment, the first thing that comes to mind is this:
Now before that gets misconstrued, no, I am not homeless in the traditional meaning of the word; I don’t live in a shelter or my car or the streets, nor am I impoverished, and I am in no way trying to compare myself to people who are homeless or minimalize what they go through in any way. But bear with me. In comparison with our society’s definition of home—a place to call my own; a constant place of stability; “putting down roots”—I am without. When a friend or family member asks me for my address, I’m hesitant because it’s constantly changing. And yes, I’m grateful for that. But no, it wasn’t instant or always that way. Yes, it was a process in which I had to learn to be so. Processes…I’ve learned to be grateful for those, too.
Unconventional but good. A follow up to Remember Your Call.
Remember Your Call
A couple of months ago I wrote a blog called Remember Your Call (the link img above), and I talked about how grateful I am that God called me to the nations. While I was writing it the Holy Spirit prompted me to follow up with a bit more, and here it is: