2006-10-21

Day of Prayer, Sunday October 22


We want to ask you to pray urgently with us. Our financial crisis has deepened due to the fact that we MUST get our account out of the red by the end of the year. This has forced us to take a hard look at our future here in Spain if the funds do not come in.

We've had a discouraging week, and just yesterday we met with Nic's teacher and a woman who provides assistance to kids in his class. At this point they feel Nic has some sort of learning delay or comprehension problem. While we feel that he only just started school and has a lot to catch up on, it still makes us feel like we have put him in this position with the educational choices we have made so far.

We have set aside tomorrow, Sunday 22 October, to pray and seek God. We need His provision financially as well as clear guidance. Would you pray with us? We would really appreciate it!

Blessings,

Troy & Heather

2006-10-19

Wind and Oil

After I finished my lament yesterday I thought I would have the women in our Wednesday night group do one for our worship time. While they were working on theirs, I wrote this, since I had already done my lamenting for the day!

I walked out wrapped in somber spirit
hope not dead
but surely subdued
braced against expected cold

instead I found
a sweet wind sending clouds on their way
unveiling clear rain washed blue
this wind
it carried the warm autumn

scent of fallen leaves

it lifted the corners of my shroud of sorrow
the edges fluttering in defiance of my grief.

Further

I was held captive and warm

in the sweetness of shared
spirit and the relief of lifted prayers

oil blazed the shape of hope
the cross
anointing me


Wind and oil

blowing, soothing my lament away

2006-10-18

A lament

One of the things I have really valued about my spiritual journey in the past few years is learning to worship God through many ways, and thinking outside the box with how I can express myself to God.

Today I have felt the weight of grief and stress from our financial situation weighing heavily on me. I decided to take some time talking to God about it, following the Biblical model of lament. (Good guidelines and examples of this can be found at this website as well as how to write your own lament, and express it with artwork)

My favorite lament in Psalms sounds like this (from the Message)

Psalm 6
A David Psalm
1-2 Please, God, no more yelling, no more trips to the woodshed.
Treat me nice for a change;
I'm so starved for affection.

2-3 Can't you see I'm black-and-blue,
beat up badly in bones and soul?
God, how long will it take
for you to let up?

4-5 Break in, God, and break up this fight;
if you love me at all, get me out of here.
I'm no good to you dead, am I?
I can't sing in your choir if I'm buried in some tomb!

6-7 I'm tired of all this—so tired. My bed
has been floating forty days and nights
On the flood of my tears.
My mattress is soaked, soggy with tears.
The sockets of my eyes are black holes;
nearly blind, I squint and grope.

8-9 Get out of here, you Devil's crew:
at last God has heard my sobs.
My requests have all been granted,
my prayers are answered.

10 Cowards, my enemies disappear.
Disgraced, they turn tail and run.

This is the lament I wrote this afternoon:

Oh God, I feel like my life is on hold,
like I have been waiting for your answer for years.

I look at these boxes still to unpack
Piles of papers to organize, things to put away
things that have no place
I long to settle but I feel like the ground
is only shifting sand
where my roots can't take hold

I know you have the money, God
I know there is boat-loads out there
Can't you spare us a few nickels and dimes?
A drop in the bucket in your economy
Please God, open your cash-box
Give us not too much, but just enough to keep us here

I will trust in You, I will cling to You
and wait for abundance to fall like bounty from your table.

Picture of my lament card

The photo is kind of weird, but there you have it.

2006-10-17

A yo-yo kind of day

Today we've kind of felt like yo-yo's going up and down, up and down, swinging around crazily on a string. We heard from CAI, our mission organization, that our account MUST be back in the black by the end of December. Even though we have been working on raising the needed funds, it has now become much more urgent. We aren't exactly sure, but it seems like we need to raise at least $8,000 by the end of the year. And that's just to get back in the black, not even to go towards expenses. It has made us take a hard look at what we'll do if the money does not come in.

Anyway, Troy started a new community group in our house tonight, and the living room looked so pretty tonight with the candles lit, so I thought I would show you...


2006-10-16

Note to Self

It is preferable, when walking down a dark hallway, not quite awake, for the brain to send the signal "Hey, this hallway is really dark, darker than normal" BEFORE one slams into the closed door at the end of the hall so hard tears spontaneously errupt as one's nose connects with said door and door handles impales delicate parts of one's chest.

I am probably going to have bruises...

Grandma's Casserole Carrier















In theory, I am a girl who is big on heirlooms, tradition and all that jazz. But in truth, my Grandmother's china, and the beautiful china teacups don't come out of the cupboard very often. I have (gasp) gotten rid of most of the doilies (sorry April!) and dresser scarves and that sort of thing I got from her.


But there is one heirloom, if you will, that gets regular use. Especially because we are church folk, and you know how much those type of folk love to eat. Yep, it's the padded casserole cover/carrier with the handles and drawstrings. I have carried many a dish in it, all over Madrid. This past Sunday it cradled a brimming casserole dish full of fettucini alfredo with regular and spinach egg noodles. Yummy!

And also, it has the benefit of being useful as a hat...My Grandma gets no respect!