Sunday, January 07, 2018

The Battle...Faithful Obedience vs. Sexy Numbers

Over the years, I've struggled with the truth that God has called me to be faithful to a group of people in a land that is not considered "sexy" in the realm of missions. It is a place where planting a church or "expanding" the Kingdom in numerical ways is difficult. I have to continuously remind myself that Jesus has asked me to be obedient to His voice & all the results are in His hands. And He will fulfill His promises, as well as, accomplish all His plans. Because that is what His Word says.
Nonetheless, it is difficult to not compare oneself with others. Or to somehow feel that you have fallen short when you can't/don't "produce" the "numbers" that are expected.
For me the beginning of 2018 has been just that...disappointing. And the mental battle has been great as I have been ill since December 27, 2017. Physically, weak & sluggish, and unable to start the new year well.
Today I'm finally beginning to feel a bit more like myself. I'm growing in Hope that I can finally start this year and get some good traction for the tasks the Lord has set before me.

Thanks for sticking with me.

Below is an article that has encouraged me. An Article of Hope for Faithfulness

Monday, September 25, 2017

Embracing the Large Pot of Mixed Emotions

My bags are packed again...mostly. The cat sitter is arranged. The bills are paid. All is left is the final walk through to make sure I have all my cables & my bags aren't overweight. You would think that 8 weeks at "home" I would filled with excitement. It is hard to describe the strange bag of emotions that I have learned to keep at bay. Joy, sadness, homesickness, uncertainty, feelings of being overwhelmed, not enough time to see everyone & do everything....and many more.
And there are all those thoughts & feelings about leaving my HOME, my friends, my sweet kitties, my bed. To spend 8 weeks living in a different bed, home, city...enjoying sharing all that Jesus is & has done. All the time hoping I don't forget where I am, who I am with & what I've just said & what I hope to say.
I always struggle with the word "furlough"...I looked it up once & learned that it means "relieved" of duty. Yet we use that same word to describe a missionary returning to their home country. For me it doesn't feel much like "time off".
This trip I'll be in 4 states in the 1st four weeks. Four of my supporting churches have had a Lead Pastor change in the last year. Although I'm excited for each of these faithful servants of the Lord & the new adventure with Jesus they are embarking on...my own heart knows the reality of uncertainty...even more than that starting over. Building a new relationship with a new Pastor.
Will they like me?
Will they have the same commitment to the work here?
Will they cut the churches financial support?

But of all these the most challenging is having to start over again building a new meaningful relationship with the new Pastor. The hardest thing is trying to establish a significant connection in which you/me feel known.

I look forward to seeing many of you very soon!

I'm attaching an article that I think does an excellent job expressing what I've attempted to share here.
Keeping Track of Sorrows

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Ties That Bind Part 2

Sven-Erik, Moa, Maria & Reilly
Living abroad has filled my life with so many blessings, adventures & enriched me with amazing relationships. But there has been a cost...the reality that all my nieces were born since I've been here & my nephew was 2 when I left. I've done my best to try to be in touch & involved in their lives but there just hasn't been much face time.  So, you can imagine my mix of emotions when my niece Reilly asked if she could come to visit for 6 weeks.
Reilly in Schindler's Factory
Of course I was excited...but what if she doesn't really like me? Or we don't get along? Will I be able to keep her "entertained"?
It didn't take long for me to realize that my fears, though very real, were ill founded. We had a
wonderful time really getting to know one another. I treasure the time & the opportunity to share my amazing world. The only down side was that my hip was acting up & I was in a lot of pain. But we managed to do & see everything.
Reilly in Stockholm
About the 4 week mark I thought that Reilly might like to meet your relatives in Northern Sweden. I tested the water with my cousin & she came back with a heartfelt welcome to both of us. I was thinking that I would just send Reilly but it had been so long (more than 25 years) since my last visit that I decided to cease the opportunity to go on an adventure together.
Even though the trip originally was intended for Reilly, I think that the Lord planned it for me. It is hard to describe, but it was like a healing balm to my soul. Being together with "BIG" family was just what the doctor order for me. So much had changed since my last visit, yet somethings remained the same...Family! Click to see the Pictures
Being in Maria's mom's home was like going to my grandmother's. The same decor, food, atmosphere... I was home. Seeing my grandmother's brother, Martin & his wife, Ingrid was a particularly special gift. My grandma has been gone more than 20 years now so it was a miracle. I got to meet Maria's 3 daughters & their families, attend the youngest daughter's handball match. As well as, spend time with old friends.
It was like going home...especially now that my mom is gone..."home" is a bit more illusive.

I will be blessed to have 2 of Maria's daughters for a visit in September.


Swedish Winter