Friday, February 25, 2011

A Mother's Prayers

As I am blessed to have a front row seat to all God is doing in Brooke's life, it occurs to me that I am an eyewitness to the power of so many prayers lifted up from this mother's heart on her behalf.  Not that I take any credit, mind you...ALL glory goes to God where it's due.  It's just that I am so honored to have the blessed privilege of being able to boldly approach The Throne and offer a pleasing aroma to the Lord as I intercede for my children.  I have learned through the years that some of the most powerful prayers are those which don't contain my own words at all, but those where I'm simply praying God's words right back to Him...scripture prayers...after all, He tells us in His Word that our only offensive weapon against the enemy is the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God.

My sweet and wise prayer warrior friend, Rachel wrote a precious book called Mom's Prayer Journal which has been an indispensable tool as I pray for my children.  I highly recommend it and although Mother's Day is still a couple months away, you might consider ordering it for yourself or any moms in your life.  I can think of no greater gift to give our children than the gift of praying for them.  What joy when we see the fruit of those prayers!

Prayer - a beautiful way to love The One to whom we pray and love the one for whom we pray.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Passport Praises!

When God called Brooke to Mozambique, she got on the ball planning and preparing immediately...fundraising, paperwork, and about a zillion other details that must be done in the next few months.  One pesky detail has been obtaining a passport.

We completed the application online and took it to our local post office several weeks ago, expecting to walk right up to the counter and complete the process.  Oh how wrong we were!  We discovered that our post office requires you to call on Thursdays "from 8 until 10 a.m." to make an appointment for the following week.  Well, what they should have said was to begin calling at something like 5 a.m.!  We called for 3 or 4 weeks straight, only to be told there were no available appointments.  Finally the last time, the lady said she'd take down my name and number and if there were any cancellations she promised to call.

This morning I was talking with Kay (also going on the trip) and the last thing she said before hanging up was that she would pray that everything would work out with the passport.  After speaking with her, I then made one more phone call.  As soon as I hung up, I received a call from the post office that there was a cancellation!  They asked if we could be there in 20 minutes!  Brooke was scheduled to be at her part time job in 20 minutes, but still I nearly screamed into the phone, "YES! WE WILL BE THERE!".
Thankfully Brooke's manager was very understanding and said she could come to work late.

We flew out the door (me with no make-up and my hair a mess, and Brooke frantically changing out of her Lenny's Sub Shop uniform!) and straight to the post office!

Whew!  What a relief to have that important piece of the puzzle in place!  Thanks, Lord for the reminder that Your timing is perfect and there is truly NEVER, EVER ANY reason to worry about ANYTHING!  You will take care of every last one of those zillion details that need to be taken care of in the next few months.  You will do it in Your perfect timing and in Your perfect way.

"I'm Going to Mozambique!"

How can one little phrase change a person’s life forever? Simply by “loving the One and loving the one.” That’s what Heidi Baker taught about at the Voice of The Apostle’s conference that I attended this fall. If you are not familiar with Heidi Baker, she is a missionary in Mozambique, Africa. The Lord has performed many miracles and wonders through her ministry called, Iris Ministries.
After attending the conference The Lord spoke clearly to me telling me that I am going to Mozambique to work with Iris Ministries and Heidi Baker. You have to understand, that I never pictured myself going on a mission trip overseas. I always thought it was a wonderful thing to do but never thought I was supposed to, so for me to even think something like this would have to be from my Savior!
After confirming it with The Lord, I came downstairs and said to my mom, “I’m going to Mozambique. Don’t know how, when, or who I’m going with. But I’m going”! Her response was “well, ok!”
Ever since I had that first thought God has been working everything out. We have some friends from Jackson, MS who are connected with Iris Ministries and go to Mozambique every year. A couple from my church and I will be going with them this summer.
We will be staying at three of Iris Ministries’ bases throughout Mozambique helping in orphanages, schools, churches, and so on… We are going to serve the Lord and we will do whatever He needs us to do and whatever the missionaries with Iris need us to do. Whether it’s simply sitting and loving on the children, or preaching on the back of a truck!
The trip is from July 11 through July 29 of this year. I am confident that God is going to work everything out for me and it is going to be a very easy process…easy because I am trusting in Him to provide everything that I will need…from health, to expenses, to safety, and anything else that the enemy might try to worry me with. I am usually one who worries all the time, but I can honestly say that I have not worried very much at all so far in this process. That is from my sweet Jesus!
Obviously, traveling half way around the world isn’t very cheap. I have a part time job, babysit a lot, and I am making different craft items to sell in order to raise money. I have also invited friends & family to participate through prayer and giving. I know that God will bless and multiply all offerings for His glory. I am looking forward to what He is going to do on this trip.
“Where you go, I’ll go. Where you stay, I’ll stay. When you move, I’ll move. I will follow. Who you love, I’ll love. How you serve, I’ll serve. In this life, I’ll lose. I will follow YOU!” - Chris Tomlin.

Matthew 22:36-40

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Brooke!

Birthdays always make me feel nostalgic.  17 years ago today I gave birth to my second of four children  and only daughter.  She has grown into such a lovely young woman who is totally in love with Jesus and someone I truly consider one of my best friends.  As I carried each of my children during pregnancy, I prayed for them to know Jesus personally and to follow Him all their days.  What a blessing to report that each of them has done just that.  Brooke came to know Him personally at age 8.

A little over 2 years ago, God led us to begin a church with some good friends who have become family.  This meant leaving the very large church where we had served for ten years.  At the time our oldest son was interning in the youth group at that church, so he didn't leave when we did, and since children are so resilient, I didn't really worry about the adjustment the younger two boys would have to make.  Brooke was a different story.  She was very involved in the youth group and sang on one of the youth praise teams.  She was at that age where these type of decisions can have a huge affect.  We were taking her away from all that into something totally youth praise team...something brand new.  Yes, I'm her mother and yes, I was worried.  However, I prayed fervently for God to do a new thing in her heart and to show me that she would be OK.  I have been absolutely amazed by His goodness to us!

Brooke suffers from something the doctors call Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and at the time, she was having severe flare-ups.  She received much prayer and while (at the time of this writing), she is not completely healed, she has learned to avoid certain trigger foods, and most importantly has learned to cast all her cares on the Lord, Who cares for her.  What the enemy has meant for evil, God has used for good.  In her weakness, He is strong.  She has learned not to focus on the illness, but to focus on The Healer.

There is not enough space to list all the powerful ways God has proven Himself faithful to Brooke and to our family over the last 2 years.  Once again He has demonstrated that He is trustworthy and that worry profits nothing.  One of the ways she serves Him is by taking care of children at church.  He has used her to speak life into them, pray over them, play with them, and they simply adore her.

This will be an exciting year for Brooke as she prepares for her trip to Mozambique.  She told me that she isn't worried about IBS even with the strange food she will most likely end up eating.  She's not worried about the travel or anything.  She is just opening herself up to whatever God wants to do in and through her.  Yes, she certainly has come a long way and God will take her to even deeper levels of intimacy and adventure in the days to come.

I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

My daughter is a living example of loving The ONE and loving the one.  I'm just a wee bit proud of her.  Can you tell??!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just a Little Woman in the Dirt...

That's how Heidi Baker describes herself.  She may indeed be little in stature, but her heart for God is HUGE!  God has used her and her husband, Rolland to save the lives of countless of Mozambique's forgotten...the poor...the orphan...the widow...
Heidi has become one of my modern day heroes of the faith, so you can imagine my excitement when my daughter, Brooke and I had the opportunity to see her speak in person at the Global Awakening Voice of the Apostles conference in Baltimore, MD October of 2010.
As soon as she opened her mouth to usher in the Lord's presence with her beautiful sounds of praise, the entire atmosphere of the room changed.  This was going to be good!  Her message was simple, yet so gripped my heart, I thought it surely must be breaking in two.  Her main point - at least the one that stood out most to me - was short but oh so sweet!  Seven little words that completely rocked my world!
"Love The ONE and love the one"...the entire Gospel summed up in seven little words...Jesus' answer to the one who asked Him what the greatest commandment was - presented here in just seven little words...Love The ONE and love the one...
That's all it took and I was completely undone...I mean on my face. on the carpet. UNDONE!
The Lord did a new work in my heart that morning.  I would later discover that He had also done a new work in Brooke's heart as well as others who had attended the conference with us...