That place.

I was a young mom and it was one of those days. Sick kids, a dirty house, carpooling, and an impending party–among other things, overwhelmed me. I stomped through the house with a basket full of dirty clothes on my hip.

That is when I first heard the voice: “stop and get on your knees.”

I tried to ignore it. “No!” I screamed inside, “I do not have time.”

I kept moving, kept fretting, kept pushing to get ten hours of stuff done in six hours. “I can do this! I’ve got to do this” partnered with “I can’t do all of this! How can I get all of this done?” 

I felt my skin crawling, my fuse shorten. My jaw was clenching to keep from yelling at my kids who were just being kids.

“Stop and get on your knees…”

“I. Don’t. Have. Time.”

More clothes. Empty the dishwasher. Return the phone call. Wipe the nose. Change the diaper. The washer stopped. “Oh, I have to go to the store. Remember the ice. I’ll stop on the way to the school.”

“Stop and get on your knees…”

“OH, OKAY!” I said sharply and aloud. He [God] wasn’t going to let up. So I put down the laundry basket and got on my knees and dug my elbows into the ottoman.

My obligatory prayer was discombobulated:I’m just doing this because you told me to. I have no faith to believe it will help because, the reality is, I just have way too much to do in too short period of time. I get that. But, I give you my day. There.”

(I wanted to add, “You happy now?” but that seemed a bit much.)

I got up, grabbed my laundry basket and moved on.

Then, I noticed, about ten, maybe 15 minutes later that I was calm. Very calm. Remarkably calm. How did that happen? How did my day, and my head which had been in the pit, turn and become calm and completely peaceful, and, well, quite okay?

I managed a “thank You.” And I meant it.

That place. That place where, I hear his voice and I know it’s Him. That place where it truly, it is only God and me. That place where I He knows me, warts and all, and he wants me just the way I am. There is where I am safe.

That place where He transforms me without me working;

or trying;

or even believing.

The place where He not only alters me, but alters the atmosphere.

I love God. I love God because He loves me.

I love him because He shows me secrets. Secrets that even children can understand. Secrets that even dumb blondes can grasp.

I love God because He has shown me the indescribable transforming power of the secret place.

And that the secret place is found on my knees with elbows grinding into an ottoman;

or in a car when He says, ‘turn the radio off’;

or a crowd when I close my eyes;

or on a chair when I push back from the desk;

or a long line when I choose to know He is standing next to me;

or in front of the TV when I shift my eyes away from the screen;

or a park bench where I breathe in. And breathe out;

or on a bed at 3am when all the other voices are battering my brain, and I chose to whisper to Him, “help.”

 I love God because he sees me and woos me and then meets me and still loves me.

And He shows me that oftenespecially when I purpose to go to that place . . . where it’s just me and Him.

“I like my new job” World Race Fusion: Country #1, Entry #3

Tim and chatting this morning. Note my newest nose injury! Was it from: a) Thai kick boxing? b) Tim finally getting fed up with me? or c) Me trying to speed walk thru a glass door?

So, Tim and I discussed it this morning.  We officially LIKE our new job.  It is, by our definition, the best job in the world.  We get to go globe trotting with young adults.  We get to give and receive love.  And we get a front row seat to seeing lives (that want to be changed) being changed by God.

Pinch me.

One of our many group hugs! Seth Barnes, the founder of Adventures in Missions, is the recipient of this particular one!

Last July, when we were asked by Deon and Rynette to coach the first World Race Fusion squad, our response was, “what is Fusion?”  (They quickly explained that FUSION was the new name for the squads that are a PURPOSED MIX of young adult Racers from different countries.)  OURS is the first.  We have three Koreans, one English, and 19 americans…along with a four rather eclectic squad leaders.

Our first, of at least four jaunts across the globe this calendar year, has taken us to Chiang Mai, Thailand.  We have laughed harder than we have in years, accrued too many stories to tell, and have obtained some very strange injuries, that we can only add to our squad’s growing list.  We have taught our squad as needed and have had many beautiful conversations with individual racers.  And, we have shared some stunning times of worship that have only reminded me how eclectic God really is.

We are also seeing God work in some really unique ways in the Racers’ lives.  Many stories stand out, but I have only asked permission, thus far, to share one.  She said YES.

All through scripture we find God asking his followers to do some really odd things.  Does He still do that today?  Read Jen's story, if you dare!

All through scripture we find God asking his followers to do some really odd things. Does He still do that today? Read Jen’s story, if you dare!

Jen was born with a hearing loss.  During our training camp, God challenged Jen in a way that made me shudder when she told me about her encounter with Him through her tears.   Here is part of her story:

I was trying to earn my way to heaven with my “good deeds.” I got saved when I was 8 and have been striving to know God more and more and somewhere along the way I allowed this “climb the ladder” idea into my life. It was something that I had personally made a part of my identity without me ever knowing it.

To read the rest of it plase visit her recent blog post at http://jenniferboeve.theworldrace.org/?filename=when-god-says-to-wait

The end of her story has yet to be written.  She waits and we pray.

My favorite blogging spot

Tim and I leave tomorrow (Saturday) to go back to Atlanta and the cold weather.  I will miss blogging from this beautiful and warm spot in Chiang Mai. I will miss our 23 Racers and our squad leaders. But I have great anticipation for our unique journey’s with God over the coming year.

Thanks for reading!

“Burma is a country” World Race Fusion: Country #1, Entry #2

 

IMG_6325As many of you know, Tim and I have been in a rather isolated state  for about 2 years now. We are so thankful to God that he provided this opportunity for us to coach Adventures in Missions very first World Race FUSION team.

What sets this Fusion Team apart is that they intentionally fused racers from other countries into making this unique team. The plans are to try out some innovative things that, frankly, will evolve over the year.

We are both  giddy that God has opened this door for us to work with these 23 Races and their four squad leaders/mentor for this calendar year. We have already had a blast learning from, teaching to, and talking with all of the amazing people involved.  Everyone has made us feel welcomed and needed. We love our Racers already and look forward to investing in their lives .

Tim and I and our World Race Fusion squad have gotten an eclectic view of Chiang Mai, Thailand: the sounds (horns, vendor chatter), the sights (markets, massage parlors) and even the smells (street food, sewer, etc).

Thailand feels safe, well at least the parts that we are being exposed to.

If you wake up early enough (I haven’t) you get the see the Buddhist monks on their morning walks. If you stay up late enough (I have) you get to see the very young  prostitutes clumping by in their way-too-high heels. They “work” only a block away from Zion Café and hostel where our racers have been staying.  It is a quaint coffee shop/restaurant/hostel that is owned and operated by Emmi, a native Thailand woman who has a heart after the lost in her community.

But we have left Chiang Mai for several days and have driven only 45 minutes from the busy city. We are now somewhere in the mountains. When I asked Scott Kwak, our fearless leader, where we were going, he simply said, “the Free Burma Rangers retreat center.”IMG_6315

“Ok,” I thought, “a retreat center.” Because the rest of what he said made no sense. However, the phrase “free Burma Rangers” was about to forever alter the way I view what ‘ministry’ is.

Burma is a country (shoulda known that) that has been in a civil war for over 60 years. From what I pieced together, there are several indigenous tribes that are being bombed by their own government, leaving MANY families displaced. These people are called IDP’s (Indigenous Displaced People).

Burma is adjacent to Thailand. It is war torn. That is where David and Karen Eubanks come in. Upon our arrival here Tuesday morning we met this amazing couple as they were scurrying around trying to pack a few bags for a 2-month trip to Burma via China. David is an ex-army Ranger who loves God. Karen is his infectious wife who home schools their three children. Those two roles, however, only skim the surface of who they are. Because first and foremost, they ooze Jesus.

David is the founder of the FREE BURMA RANGERS. Here is the synopsis from their web page of what they do:

            The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement. They bring help, hope and love to people in the war zones of Burma. Ethnic pro-democracy groups send teams to FBR to be trained, supplied and sent into the areas under attack to provide emergency medical care, shelter, food, clothing and human rights documentation. The teams also operate a communication and information network inside Burma that provides real time information from areas under attack. – See more at: http://www.freeburmarangers.org/2010/10/28/free-burma-rangers/#sthash.gi5PtVKd.dpuf

 I could write pages about them and their ministry but instead, I encourage you to go visit their webpage. It is truly fascinating, and once again, I am in awe at my geographical ignorance and my embarrassingly small view of world current events.http://www.freeburmarangers.org

Thank you for praying for us, thank you for reading.  More adventures, pics and words to come!

Thanks for reading. More details later!