Friday, October 28, 2011

A Place to Lay Your Head

I love laying my head on my pillow every night. Work is done, my kids are all asleep and there are no more phone calls.

I like my stuff, my house, my space. I like my creature comforts. 

Ever thought about Jesus and stuff? 

Ever seen a picture of Jesus pulling a rolling suitcase or carrying a backpack? He was a homeless man without a grocery cart. He moved around throughout Israel and depended on the hospitality of others. 

He travelled with just the robe on his back and the sandals on his feet. He walked—okay once he rode on a donkey, but that was a special event. 

Jesus challenged would-be followers by telling them, "The foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."

His lack of a physical place to call his own never slowed him or hampered his ministry. It freed him. He didn't need to have a place to feel secure. His security came from the relationship he had with his father.

I am challenged by Jesus' words. I am trying to unload stuff. When an opportunity for a mission trip to an uncomfortable location arises, I want to say, YES and not think about the stuff I can't bring with me. I want to teach my kids about the pitfalls of materialism. 

I want to be free like Jesus who did his father's will without pre-conditions. 

Every night when I lay my head on my pillow I think about what it would be like to have nowhere to lay my head. I thank Jesus for the sacrifice he made while on earth and embrace the challenge such a lifestyle offers me. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Moms of Missionaries

Granddaughter waves to her aunt in SK

Hooray for skype! What did missionary families do to keep up with each other before internet?

This past weekend we had a daughter and her family visit and we held a skype reunion with another daughter who is teaching in Seoul, SK. 

The visiting daughter brought her baby who is our first grandchild. The whole family likes to keep up with each new grandbaby skill. Aunt Kimela in SK is no exception so she spent time talking to her 8-month-old niece. 

The baby was fascinated with the screen. She practiced her new waving skill. She kept trying to touch her aunt's face on the computer screen. Aunt Kimela sang "Jesus Loves Me" for her and that made me cry. Precious to watch. 

I'm honored to have kids who are so enthusiastic about missions and international issues but it is tough on my heart. I miss them and know that even more of my kids plan to live overseas in the years to come. 

I spend a lot of time praying for my children. When I wake sometimes in the middle of the night, my first thought is, "What time is it where my child on the mission field is living? What do I need to pray for?" I assume I've been awakened to pray. 

So today I am thankful for the gifts of prayer and skype.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Behind, Before and Over Me

I was just starting dinner when the phone rang.

"Stop what you are doing and come see this!" 

My friend lives outside of town in the country. Vergie is the fun mom with the cool house that my kids always want to visit. She has wild peacocks, a garden, and a chicken coop. 

"The chicks are hatching. You've got to come watch."

I did drop everything. I moved my dinner to the back burners and packed up the kids and drove out to her house. 

Vergie ushered us over to the chicken coop and told us to listen. The baby chick and the mother were talking to each other. You could hear chirping coming from the egg and then the mother hen would answer. The more the mother hen clucked back, the more the baby pecked it's way out of the egg. Truly a marvel to witness!

This wasn't the first chick to hatch. My friend stirred the mother hen and she began flapping, revealing several recent hatchlings attached under her wings. They were literally encased in the downy feathers under the mother hen's wings as they grasped tightly with their claws. 

The soft warm feather's provided the perfect temperature for the new hatchlings and protected them from intruders like snakes or coyotes. I couldn't help but remember one of my favorite verses. 

He will cover you with His pinions,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 
Psalm 91:4 ESV

My children still remember this day. It forever etched in their minds the truth of this verse and what God means when He says He hides us under His wings. 

As we drove home I told them another story that I'd heard about a barn fire. The farmer walked through the charred ground afterwards surveying the damage. He came upon a mother hen that had died in the blaze. He wondered why the chicken hadn't escaped ahead of the flames. As he pushed it over, he heard chirping and several small hatchlings scattered.

The hen had stayed and given her life to protect the chicks that she had covered with her wings. What a picture of what Jesus did for us—He could not save us without dying for us on the cross. 

You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high, I cannot attain it. 
Psalm 139: 5,6 ESV

May you know His love and protection that is behind, before and over you.