My Ebenezer

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” -James 4:13-15

This year, God kept me living very mist-like–hazy and annoying to drive in… no, wait… temporary in any place and uncertain of the future.

About once a month, someone (or I, myself) would ask me: “So what are you doing? Are you staying in Brazil? Are you going back to America? Are you teaching or going back to college?”

I’ve been learning that plans are for people who haven’t talked to God yet. As soon as I had mine established, he’d show me I had it wrong. In the end, the only answer I could give anyone was, “I don’t know. God knows.” Each day was a step of faith-some more obvious than others.

I went to Brazil in July with plans to teach missionary kids for a year, but a series of complications has brought me back to the U.S. for Christmas. It’s a blessing, really. God has given me the privilege of holding my new baby nephew in Florida and visiting with friends that I rarely get to see.

Baby Hobbes

Baby Hobbes

I got to buy solid deodorant for the first time in 6 months

You have to enjoy the little things.

You have to enjoy the little things.

And drive a car for the first time in 6 months.

Again, little things.

Again, little things.

I’ve only ever asked that God will put me where I’m needed. That’s my true desire–to fill a need. And that is what He has done. From teaching with One7 Academy, volunteering at The Gathering, and going to Brazil, God has answered my prayer to fill a need.

He’s been faithful to answer other requests as well. Before leaving the U.S. in July, I made it a goal to make at least one Brazilian friend in Anápolis. He gave me many.

Dinner with friends.

A whole table full.

I prayed that God would take care of me financially, since I had no guarantee that I’d have enough money to live on each month. He always made sure I had what I needed–a beautiful place to live, free lunches at the school I worked at, access to cheap bus transportation, and bodacious friends that filled in whatever else I might need (like car transportation to places a little difficult to get to, or trips to the grocery store, or scrumptious dinners…).

God never forgot me. And I don’t ever want to forget Him. This post (this whole blog, really) is my Ebenezer–my reminder that God has taken care of me and will always take care of me–even if I have no idea what He’s doing.

I’m holding my breath for what comes next. I thought I was going back to Brazil to finish the school year, but in order for that to happen, I have to have some very important paper work come through within the next month. At this point in time, I haven’t heard anything about it. But I know that God’s in charge. He’s got a plan, and His plan doesn’t fail. I do believe that God wants me back in Brazil–either immediately, or within a few months–but His timing is all his own. I just have to trust Him for it.

Ebenezer

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Merry Christmas

Few music artists impact me more than mewithoutYou. Their lyrics cut me deep and leave me with new and awesome understandings of God’s character. Their song, “A Stick, A Carrot, & String,” is a Christmas song that drives home the reason Jesus was born. It’s not so much a “all is calm, all is bright” song, but more of a “God came to earth as human being–just like us–suffered and died for us” kind of song. It’s a song full of joy, pain, and victory. And It’s my favorite Christmas song.

Please enjoy “A Stick, A Carrot, & String” and merry Christmas.

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