"You either go, or you send." Usually I send. I have prayed for, supported, corresponded (and wished I was one) missionaries for years. What a blessing it has been to be part of those teams. But I have often wondered if they, while feeding the hoards, rocking the orphan baby to sleep, preaching on the street corner... I wondered what they thought of those of us back home. Did they think we were too cushy and would not give up our comforts to heed the call? Or did they resent us for not giving more financially? Or, did those faithful ones on the front... did they believe that we missed the call of God on our lives?
Now I am going, and my only thought towards those who have sent me, is gratitude... big, big gratitude. Many little gifts and one very large gift, (3 days before departing), is making this trek possible.
Check out the verse below. I love it. So much so, that 10 years ago I named by art business "Great Company", borrowing the verbiage from this verse. Particularly hover over the line "the women at home divide the spoil." Let me be frank with you, I am going to Africa to take reward. I am going for souls. I am going to add my stroke of paint to the glory stream that is arising from the precious Church in that place to the throne of God. I am going to serve alongside that amazing community as they walk out their destiny. I am going to commission the artist tribe from around the globe as we work together to make the invisible visible. I am going for the spoils. I often pray, "Jesus, take your reward."
So, those of you at home that have supported, prayed, and who will listen to my stories, YOU get the plunder. HOW COOL IS THAT?
The Lord announces the word,
and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng:
“Kings and armies flee in haste;
the women at home divide the plunder.
Even while you sleep among the sheep pens,
the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver,
its feathers with shining gold.”
When the Almighty scattered the kings in the land,
it was like snow fallen on Mount Zalmon. Psalms 68
So, my prayer for you today, that you see the spoils, touch and hold them. I pray that you know when you sleep, you are protected by the wings of a dove. And that a new, white, refreshing "snow" will fall on you and your household.
"What do you do with a drunken sailor? What do you do with a drunken sailor? What do you do with a drunken sailor, early in the the morning?".
I remember singing that song as a kid. "Why," you ask? It's not like it's a song I would learn at church camp, or something. My sweet dad had a variety of LPs (for you youngsters out there-an LP is a really big cd that is black, or occasionally a green or red for effect), and he particularly loved male choral music. So I suppose the "Drunken Sailor" tune was included in a particular album because it was full of vigor and vim so I learned it along with other "guy music" in my younger years thanks to Dad. (I loved growing up with music.)
Anyway, that was what I woke up singing this morning. In the A.M., I confess, I walk crooked. The brain and the feet are not on good terms, and travel is dangerous. So, I sing the song, nearly every morning, as I swagger down the hall, desperately seeking coffee. This morning, with my coffee, Bible. What a relief to discover the verse of the day this morning is The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121: 7-8
Wonderful to be reminded that the Lord is watching over not just my crooked walk down the hall, but my way through my day, my travels in my upcoming missions trip to South Africa, and all my comings and goings, now and forever. He is such a loving Father and he carries a big sign with arrow that says, "This is the Way."
This digital work is simply named "Straight Path". I love that this path is lined with beauty, really TALL beauty. This painting is my prayer.
So my prayer for YOU today, is that YOUR path is straight and lined with beauty. And that YOU enjoy the journey. That YOU have a revelation of the purpose of the way and that YOU see that you are NOT ALONE.
Much preparation for the upcoming South Africa teaching trip.
I have had so little time to paint. It feels a bit like madly preparing for my wedding and having no time to spend with my soon-to-be husband ... the one I am love sick for.
So, on this beautiful morning, I have planted myself in the big soft chair in my studio and purposed to wait and rest, and hear again the truth about why I am doing what I do. And the truth about who I am.
This quote came to me on FaceBook. I borrowed it and pasted it on a photo of my painting, using my favorite brush, and my favorite colors. I quickly added Van Gogh's words, which agree with other wisdom that my heart knows to be true.
To silence a voice, we come in the opposite spirit. We fight fear by being brave, doubt by remembering who we are created to be. And we fight busyness by resting.
So in this crazy time of packing and preparing to teach internationally, with its myriad of details ... I choose rest.
A really wise guy once said, "For he, who has entered his rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His." -Ancient Hebrew Wisdom