May 14, 2014

Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid

There is this really awesome story set within Matthew 14 that really portrays how I am feeling lately about everything going on.  The disciples are out on their boat and the water starts to get rough.  They are freaking out and Jesus, who is doing His thing and chillin out on the water, says, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." (Matt. 14:27)  Peter, who was somewhat skeptical was like, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." (Matt. 14:29)  Jesus told him to come and Peter did.  This whole time Peter was walking on the water and then as soon as he took his eyes off of the Lord, he began to sink.  Jesus reached down and grabbed him out of the water.  I love this story because it shows us that Jesus was right next to Peter, just waiting to help him in his time of need.  Lately I have been feeling like Peter; the Lord just beckoning me to "Come".  That is exactly what we have decided to do.

The Lord has blessed us lately with rest and some relaxation.  Just last week we were able to visit Korina's sister Tonia, and her family.  It was such an awesome time for us to catch up, love on them and receive love from them.  Later on that evening, we were able to score some great tickets to a Yankees-Angels game at Angels Stadium.  It was a very close game, but in the end, the Angels prevailed and Korina made sure I knew that she was exceedingly happy.  We were up quite high in the nose-bleed section, but it was still a beautiful evening for some great baseball with my lovely bride.
The following day, we thought we might visit Magic Mountain because why not?!?  Since we have season passes from last year, we didn't have to pay for a ticket and use our friend pass for Rick and some of his friends.  It was such a blast just having some fun and reliving old high school times with Korina and Rick.  Even though we aren't still in high school (Praise the Lord), we are still some pretty cool cats.
 This much needed break gave us some great perspective on our journey.  We just want to love on people and enjoy the blessings God has given us.  We have been blessed in order to be a blessing and we couldn't be more excited about this journey.

We have been officially accepted into YWAM Sligo for DTS and now we are focusing our efforts on support raising.  Much prayer on our part and yours (thank you) has made this not only an exciting process, but a possible one.  Supporters that we did not even expect to have felt the call of the Lord to support us in immeasurable ways.  God has blessed us with lowered school payments and a discounted tuition rate for DTS.  These have all been signs that God wants us to continue to pursue traveling to Ireland and loving on people there.

Although we still need to raise $8,000 total (at least half by September) its looking like our current goal is to raise $1800 by June 15th to purchase our airfare.  Tickets right now are very inexpensive for the amount of traveling that we need to do.  These funds will not only help us purchase our airfare, but also transportation from the Dublin airport to the YWAM Sligo base.  Please pray about your role in partnering with us, because honestly, we need your help.  God has been so good to us and we cannot wait to bless more of those around us through this DTS.  To give online, visit here.

Thanks for catching up.  Let's step out on the water and walk with Jesus.

May 11, 2014

Dear Momma

Dear Momma, 
Today I woke up and turned over and saw your picture. The one with your awesome 80's teal dress in all its shoulder-padded glory. The one where you're holding me at just a few weeks old. The one where you timidly smile at the camera. But there is more to your beautiful sweet smile, there is pride. You were a woman of many many talents but being a mother... that was the jewel in your crown. You took pride in every single one of your babies- every single one a miracle and blessing from the Lord. To have you as an example of motherhood left me, for as long as I can remember, wanting to be the same thing. I admiringly looked over at young mommas as a kid and longed to one day hold my own babies just so I could love even a fraction of the way you could love. You had your hard days too but even then, you still loved furiously. 
I'll never forget the day I saw you weeping in your room. Concerned, I asked what was wrong. You told me "I just have so many damn kids my constant struggle is to make sure none of them feel less love than the other. I just can't bear the thought that I haven't loved them enough today." That statement didn't make much sense to me until this last year. We all knew how much you loved us, you were a pro. It wasn't that we weren't loved enough, it was that you knew what it was to lose one of us, and you gave all you possibly could to treasure what you still had. 
Momma, you suffered the loss of a baby from an ectopic pregnancy and knew how precious your children were to you. You lost your daddy too early in life too and therefore treasured every moment with those you loved. But because you loved your God more than any of these things He filled you to overflowing so you could love well, so you could love enough. You knew the triumph of choosing joy. You're still teaching me even seven years after you were commissioned to heaven. 
You left a legacy of Christ's love through your children, all of us, and we are taking up your mantle. We are ambassadors of the heavenly realms. My prayer is that all of us come to know Jesus as intimately as you did...and then some. My prayer is that when I do have my own babies, they will be raised in a home where Jesus is as real to them as He was to us. 
Last year when we lost our baby to an ectopic pregnancy it became all too real to me what it was to choose joy. I finally knew why you really could love so well. It wasn't because you had some secret super mom formula, it was because you had Jesus. I knew this but I didn't really know this. We prayed and felt like God told us he was a boy and his name was Timothy. He carried on his mantle there in the heavenly realms with his grandma. He too, is an ambassador of heaven. God was gracious enough to bless me with my mother-in-law so I can still get mom hugs (aren't they the best?!) especially during moments like those. She also sacrificed so much to raise the man of my dreams and future father of our children. 
Our baby taught me so many things in his short life. He taught me profound love. I now know, somewhat, what it was to love so furiously. 
Momma it was hard to not have you here during that time, but knowing you were the one to hold my baby even before was worth it.  Happy Mother's Day momma. Thank you for every moment of your beautiful life. You loved much more than enough.