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.

“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!

WRFusion update Country #1, Update #1 (or Blue Sky Needed)

IMG_6264Saturday morning, January 3

Tim and I are on the way to Thailand via Shanghai. As in Shanghai, China.

I am sitting in the lobby listening to Tim trying to communicate with the hotel personnel who speaks  “a little” English (said while holding their fingers in tiny-mode.)   I also hear the tinkling of 42 million glass thingies that are hanging from the massive chandelier. If I let allowed myself it could put me back to sleep.  We are 12 hours ahead of Atlanta.

We soon leave the lobby and get into our shuttle and wait.  Again.  This time I sit and watch as an older Chinese man (ok, he’s about my age) pulls out a thick hand duster from a plastic case that has been hidden in the trunk of a black Mercedes. He then begins the arduous task of wiping off the fog-dust from the entirety of the high-end car while three businessmen look on.  (My confusion begins to set in as I ponder: “I thought this was a communist country…”)  IMG_6269

The fog-dust is everywhere since fog is everywhere.  As we leave to return to the airport I notice that many people have on smog-masks (we also had some provided for us in our hotel.  However, we left them behind!) The smog (fog-dust) is so profound but the people seem as accustomed to it as we are to the humidity in the south.  The sun is shining, but cannot break through.  I am suddenly aware of how much I miss the BLUE…and how sorry I am that the Shanghai-ians miss it everyday.IMG_6274

We are waking up to our first full day of many days to come this year as coaches for the very first World Race Fusion squad. This squad is composed of 23 young adults (Racers) from three different countries–most of whom are presently on a nine hour bus ride from Bangkok to Chiang Mai Thailand where all of us will be  for the next two weeks. Tim and I will help (a little) with their training and then launch them into their first of eleven ministry sites for the next 11 months.

Our job, as coaches, is to fly every other month to meet the Racers  (in the particular country they will be in at the time) simply to encourage them and prod them on as they journey with each other during 2015.  Each of our 4-5 jaunts will last about a week.  HOW FUN IS THAT for 2015!?

My goal is to document this journey or at least a few of the quirky happenings, during our 2015 venture.

Update #2 to follow quickly. (Lord willing and the creek don’t rise–I don’t reckon they say that ’round here….)