Friday, May 29, 2009

"I Could Never... what you do," she says. It is not the first time I have heard this.  In fact, almost everywhere we go, a well-meaning woman will share with me her doubts that she could ever be a missionary. 

The truth is, sometimes I feel like telling her, "I can't do it either!"  It breaks my heart to be away from my family and friends.  It actually physically hurts when I say goodbye...again.  It is exhausting to pack up and
move so regularly. 

You see, I am the kind of girl who would love to live in the same house in some quiet town for the rest of my life, preferably just down the street from my parents.  I do not need adventure.  I crave routine and stability.  I long for a place where I am known and loved for me, where old ladies squeeze my cheek and tell me how much I look like my mother did at my age. 

If I focus on those things, I become so weak that I am frozen in a pond of pity just waiting for the enemy to come fish me out and eat me for dinner.  However, if I focus on Truth, I never give up-because I do not have to do it. He will do it in me. 

Usually when I hear that familiar phrase, "I could never. . . " I just respond, "Yes, at times it can be challenging, but God's grace is always enough for us."  I really mean that.  He really has always met us in
our moments of grief with a breath of comfort, in our hour of exhaustion with an infusion of strength.  When we are weak, He is shown strong.  Everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own, that our only power and success come from Him. 

I think that next time, though, I am going to change my byline.  I will smile and say, "You are right. You couldn't do it, and neither can I.  That is the whole point.  He wants to do it through me and through you, so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect His glory.

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. . . And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit. . . But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. . . That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. II Corinthians 3:5, 18; 4:7; 12:10

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hope for the Mint Bathroom

Thanks so much to all my friends who swooped in with some great advice for the mint bathroom in our future rental in Paraguay! I really appreciate your thoughts!

I forgot to say that spa white isn't an option because we will be living in the desert with two little boys (i.e. lots of dirt). I do have a chocolate brown shower curtain already, so I'll have that as a fall back, but my dream is to use this kitchen below as my inspiration. Of course, the clincher for this plan is finding some beautiful fabric like the curtains featured here (if you have any ideas where to look...please let me know!).

The reason I love this color scheme, is that it feels like I could have planned mint tile on purpose, whereas a lot of the other ideas I have feel like I am just trying to play down the mint and make the most of it! :) So...what are your thoughts?

And now, for a sneak into the second bathroom in the house...which appears to have been painted black? We'll definitely be using a few coats of paint on that baby! *Sigh*

photo: Country Living

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Makeover Magic in the Bathroom...and I Need Your Help!

We have been very blessed to be staying in a fully furnished apartment rent free while we are in Pennsylvania. One of our partnering churches has a house dedicated to housing for missionaries. What an AWESOME ministry!

Since we aren't paying rent, I've been itching to do something to follow my parent's know, "Always leave things better than you found them!" I really admire that even when my folks didn't have a lot, they always returned a borrowed car with a full tank of gas, regardless of how much was in the tank to start with.

So here's my little bathroom makeover! Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the old shower was the same as the border on the curtains and a wee mite "tired". Before:

And After:

I just "shopped the house" for the new artwork.

And now here's my next decorating dilemma...this is the main bathroom in the house we are moving into in Paraguay in July. I plan to repaint the yellow wall and remove the big foot rug (ha) but I'm at a bit of a loss as to what kind of towels and shower curtain (color?? pattern??) to use. PLEASE, PLEASE give me your ideas about how to make the most of the mint green tile!

P.S. Sorry if I confused anyone with my last post! We haven't arrived to Paraguay yet. We will be flying mid June to the capital city where we will have a month of orientation before we move to our new home.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Well in the Desert

We are very excited that God has provided a home for us to rent when we get to Paraguay! One of the best features about the house is that it has a well. That might not seem like anything out of the ordinary to you, but down there sweet water is golden. Most underground water is deemed unfit for humans due to the high salt content. As a result, the majority of all homes collect rain water in cisterns.

This year, there has been a tremendous drought and people are having to pay to have water trucked in to fill their cisterns. Needless to say, we feel very blessed by this home with a well! I know it is because so many of you are praying specifically for our housing arrangements! Thank you!

With water being so precious, a green grass yard is rarely seen. Most yards are just dirt. Since my mom always had the greenest lawn in town, I think I am very glad that God led us to this rental. :)

The home itself has lots of quirks but I look forward to the challenge of decorating and making it home. It's always amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for a place! I promise to post some pictures soon!


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