Grateful for the fight

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
Psalm 52:8

Yesterday Tim and I got talking about how good it is to have something to fight for!  From the beginning of our lives, we both learned how to fight quickly so we just do not know life without a fight.  And now that life is good for both of us, we see ourselves fighting again, in lots of different ways, for lots of different things.  And it wasn’t till yesterday that we stood still and realized the blessing of a good fight.  We just can’t imagine living life without having something to fight for.

The blessing is that the fight is hard, and we can’t fight alone.  We are required to spend time with God daily to get our focus, our strength, wisdom, to get care for our heart.  And that is such an amazing thing.  Any fight is hard, and painful, and a great source of stress.  It takes energy and to sit in my car last night being filled with God’s presence is such an amazing thing.  I just can describe it, you have to live it to understand.  And all I could do was praise over and over again: God, thank you for being faithful to my heart!

I write this post in honor of my friend Vicky , who fights a good fight.  Her fight, like so many, is pretty unfair, yet, she won’t tell you that.  Vicky only speaks of how good God is in the fight!!

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We are currently serving in Haiti, just for 10 days.  We are hosting 4 groups on their first short term missions trip outside the US.  It is awesome to have people support our work in Leogone.  But this is not a time for words, just photos this time!

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Devastation still written all over this place…MaddyChristine Hope Photography-L.4578MaddyChristine Hope Photography-4606.LMaddyChristine Hope Photography-L.4604

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Happy with any response really…

I will continue to write about the time passed with our boy in our home (our Christmas together, transitioning etc).  It’s been 7 weeks and lots can happen in 7 weeks.  A roller coaster can take place right in your home.  I am used to roller coasters and that is helping me today big time.  I always hoped that my roller coasters weren’t for nothing, that they’d serve a purpose one day.

We currently have in our home a boy who is not ready to commit to us.  A lot is happening in his heart.  Lots of pondering and wondering.  Lots of fear.  Lots of fighting for his independence because really, he made it pretty much alone this far.  Why now, at the age of 14, allow parents in your life who will look over your shoulders and tell you what is best for you?

We are constantly trying to find the balance.  When and how much do we pursue him and when do we let him be?  We are believers that it’s good to let the boy come to us, when he is ready.  In the mean time we do lots of loving, being present and available when he calls on us.

Today our boy heard Tim and I talking about us hosting some people in April.  It ‘freaked’ him out.  He does NOT like to share anything.  I repeat: our boy does not like to share anything.  And the thought about sharing the bathroom, the living room, the hot water, the cabinets of food… it doesn’t make him happy.  Of course there is a why to that but that is besides the point right now.  He called loudly: MOMMMMM!  “Yes?” I said… “Are we going to have people stay with us?  I mean in our home. 1, 2, 3 people’s home?”  He smiled when he said it, knowing how silly he was being.  “You ARE kidding right?  You mean our home?” “Yes boy, we are going to have 3 extra people in our home and yes, we will share the shower, and the hot water, and the food, and the car.”  It was fun engaging with our boy over something so silly.  But oh my, any little response from this boy is better than none at all!  It is joy to my heart.

I love that you are here and I certainly would love to hear from you.  To leave a comment go HERE !


Justice in every way

images-1Tim and I were invited to join the Vineyard Justice Conference in Anaheim last week. What an amazing experience. Our hearts beat for certain things and it came together so well during the conference and the people we met. I am still not sure how these certain things will play out in our life but God is certainly painting a picture.
I have written before how we desire to not live for ourselves. How we want to look around and care; with our time, our finances and choices. And as God is painting the how in our life, I was challenged last week.
We were given a coach during the conference. Someone we met with each day. Our coach Rose Swetman spoke about having an eye for the personal, the local, and the global needs in God’s Kingdom.
3 circlesI think Tim and I have the personal aspect down pretty well. We serve one another first and fore most, before serving anyone or anything else. We have an eye for our neighbor and often reach out, even in the littlest, but oh so important, of ways. We want to be of service to our church community and have started that conversation with our church and beautiful things are unfolding. The global aspect is a clear one to most of the people around us. It is very clear we desire to serve globally and want to have an impact in the lives of people who have little in the developing world.
At times I feel I have not enough time to do what I want to do in those areas, so when I was challenged to talk about how we seek to live for others locally, I drew a blank. This is the piece I have been wondering about… am I to serve locally when I am already short on time and doing so much? We still have to work hard to get food on the table as we try to live a life style of service.
I am very curious to what picture God is painting with our life. Is He challenging our life style? For if we want to live a life of service and seeing, will the hours in a day really matter? We seek to see and love… and what if all of us cover all three areas: seeing and loving in the personal circle, the local circle and global circle… would God’s painting of the world not look a whole lot different?
I love that you are here, and I would certainly love to hear from you.  To leave a comment go HERE !
This was also shared at Holley’s Coffee For Your Heart.  To read more personal stories or get encouraged, go HERE !


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This is exactly what I feared

MaddyChristine Hope Photography-0756It was hard getting home.  Tim and I had such a good month away that I was sad to go home, and once home I was even sad to be home.  I needed time to adjust.  
It was interesting to see that in Burkina none of our concerns from home mattered.  There are certain things we’ve been focusing on lately, even to the point it consumed me.  When away the past month we spoke about all those things and how it all seemed irrelevant in light of what we were doing in Burkina.  How would we respond when we got back?  Would we just be consumed over those ‘things’ again?  It’s certainly not what we wanted.  
I don’t want to be consumed by anything but with the matters of the Lord.  I have written before about heart’s desires going unanswered.  In Burkina it didn’t matter.  Tim and I have been consumed by wanting to move.  We live too far from community and church and it is bothering us, it aches.  In Burkina it didn’t matter.  I desired to go home with a new passion… focusing on the things that truly matter and on things that are way more important than my ‘things’.   
And yet, what I feared is happening.  I am getting consumed by the things here.  The old things pop back up and seem to matter.  And it saddens me.  There are better things to be consumed by, like focusing on making this world a better place, wherever, however, but that has got to be my focus.  I have lived a past and God has used it to write a story of redemption through my life.  Sharing that has got to matter.  Seeing need all around me, that has got to matter.
The first morning home I couldn’t wait to sit down with God and just be.  He showed up as such a loving Father.  Guess what He told me?  He told me that ‘my things’ matter to Him!  The things I get consumed by are obviously important to me, and so they are important to Him.  That was a beautiful first awaking.
God said something else, something He’s been saying to me before.  He said: “Don’t pray, let me do!”  Sounds familiar?  He said: “Don’t worry about being back, don’t fear it.  Don’t think about moving, about ministry, about what you will do.  Just let me be!  BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.”
I desire to live a life of sacrifice.  I do pray, but I try not to be consumed.  I try to pray and just see what happens next.  My prayer sounds like this: “God, open my eyes to what You want me to see.”  I can desire many things, but I cannot make anything happen.  I want to acknowledge where God is at work, and I desire to join Him.  How, where… only God can work out those details.  It is not good to be consumed.  It is best to be still and know that God is God.  
I love that you are here and I certainly love to hear from you.  To leave a comment go HERE!
This was also shared at Holley’s Coffee For Your Heart.  To read more personal stories or get encouraged, go HERE