This passed week, we had the privilege of meeting with some old friends and enjoyed the company of our home church, The Life Center. We were quite surprised at how much at home we felt entering the door. After a year and a half, we were greeted by our church family with open arms and excited kisses for The Bird. Our pastors were so loving to us and gave us an opportunity to share what God has been doing in the Phils. We felt totally supported and loved. What a privilege to have a church family to come home to. :)
Everyday has yielded amazing provision from the Lord from financial blessings to delicious dinners at friends' homes. We've even been given coupons for things like diapers and clothing! Cool, eh!?
Today, Tim, Promise, my mother-in-law, and I got to go to IKEA and then to Granville Island (one of my favorite places). Though I really dislike shopping about as much as eating creamed brussel sprouts, walking through IKEA was refreshing! I found Promise a bib that actually covers her (the only one I'd brought wasn't doing the trick) and she found a little stuffed bird....very appropriate for The Bird....I found exactly what I was looking for and as we stood in the check-out line, I felt a twinge of envy. Envious of having my own home to decorate....a place where I had the choice to hang cool light fixtures and eat off my own dishware....a place where I could finish with matching linens and warm wall paint....a place to have hanging plants and candles....a home that was "mine". I remembered our apartment in the Phils...how everything in there was once another family's....how instead of choosing the decor, I just "made do" with what was inherited....how many of the items were broken, worn and full of holes...and when we leave, none of it can be taken along with us to the next "home".
It wasn't that I was feeling sorry for myself, well maybe I was a little, but rather I was struck with the Scripture from Matthew 6:19 that says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
This reminded me of what my purpose is and brought me to a place of recognizing that all of those fringe "treasures" I want will only be more responsibility and bind me to feeling "in need" all the time...."I need new curtains....I need new sheets......I need to renovate....I need pretty light fixtures". Yeah...I want those things, but God has not called me to that life. He called me to serve in the Philippines. IKEA won't fit in my suitcase and it certainly will not fit my budget or free me to serve the poor.
I was convicted again to ask the Lord to be my treasure...so that my heart will be there also...satisfied, content and always thankful for what He has so graciously provided for me and my family. Staying at that place not only brings me peace, but makes me more effective in the place of His calling.
Well, I guess you could say that's where I am at this week. I think I am processing a lot these days. My pastor here, Ernie, shared a very thought-provoking quote Sunday morning that I've been rehearsing in my mind though I can't remember it word for word, so here it is paraphrased: "We write our accomplishments in the sand, our failures we chisel in marble, our faults we carve in brass, and God's deliverances in water."
I am learning, hoping and praying that I will chisel my God's deliverances in marble by repeating them here over and over again. I serve a faithful God.