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There is such beauty when God's people are attuned to His voice and allow Him to move us and use us accordingly. This past week I witnessed time and time again how needs were met in this way, down to the smallest detail.

Early on in the week, in the course of my job opening a children's home, I met up with an American couple for lunch. They felt led by the Holy Spirit to give me some American funds. Little did they know that our family was out of grocery money for the month and Eddie would be leading a retreat for university students on a shoe string budget. That $200, plus donated chicken from a Mennonite friend and citrus from a friend's farm, allowed every need to be met and met well.

Last week I hired someone as a part-time cleaner for the children's home. Every morning as a staff we have a short devotional time and this new hire joined us. She expressed how this small job is an answer to months of fervent prayer, not just for the income it provides, but for the emotional healing and encouragement she is already experiencing on campus. She was led to tears as she shared the hurts she had experienced over the last year and praised God for allowing her to be part of this project.

Eddie and I were able to have a breakfast date on Valentines because a couple friend of ours gave us a Gift Card to a local coffee shop. We were so grateful for the chance to have a nice meal and spend time together during this hectic week. As I was driving home from work, I felt the Lord tell me to buy a rose for some single ladies in our church. Thanks to the gift from that American couple, I had the funds to buy those roses and deliver them to the ladies. One young lady from our young adults ministry had experienced a painful breakup this year and was so touched, she was moved to tears saying "God loves me so much, He sent me flowers."

This is what this life is about! Being attuned to the Spirit and allowing Him to flow resource and encouragement to and through you. It's when we live this way that we experience little every day miracles and feel connected to others in a deep and meaningful way.

I pray that you, too, would experience God in the details; making a way for you where there seems to be no way, connecting you to others in reciprocal love and care. If you seek Him, you will find Him in the details.

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Can I tell you a secret? I hate devotional tools. After over 4 years of writing this blog, and over 100 entries, this admission may be the final nail in the coffin for some of my readers. I know there are millions of people who grow & thrive on reading daily articles, blurbs and prayers written by other people, but I'm not one of them. Devotional tools, such as books or email mailouts just don't do it for me, I'm afraid.


I wish I liked them. I wish I could wake up every morning, open My Daily Bread (or any number of other devotional books) and really appreciate & feast on what is written. It would be satisfying, I think, to be able to check-off that spiritual discipline before I even finish my corn flakes. Alas, that has rarely ever worked for me.


I've had seasons when I have devoted a tithe (10%) of my wakeful hours to Bible study. I have had years where I read my Bible and journaled daily. I have had desperate times when all I could do was put on worship music, lay down and cry day after day- too heartbroken to open my Bible or pick up a book. Recently my devotion is an ongoing conversation with God, as I go about my day, eventually diving into the Word when I've organized my thoughts enough to hear something in return.


I don't like that my devotion isn't as neat and tidy as others'; I look forward to the next evolution of my devotion, whatever that might be. But in the meantime it's real and that matters, I think.


John 15: 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself;
it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you,
you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

With the new year underway, and my new job providing fresh excitement and perspective, I want to lean into my devotion to God; not just that which is measurable, but my heart's connection to my savior, redeemer and refuge. In 2024 I will remain hopefully devoted to Him.



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It has been 18 long months of writing proposals, red tape and waiting. Many of you have been praying alongside me during this time. I can enthusiastically announce today that I am officially the Shelter Supervisor for Agape International Missions Belize's (AIM Belize) AIM Restoration Home, which will be a long-term shelter program for young people coming out of sex trafficking.


If you regularly read my blog, you know how much I've struggled and stressed, hoping, waiting and despairing that it was taking so long. The faith journey is a hard one when the promises you're holding onto are nowhere in sight. Proverbs 13:12 says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."


This waiting in faith reminds me of the Christmas story. I'm currently leading our church's production of a Christmas play, which highlights humanity's long anticipated arrival of a Savior. The human heart knows there's something more to existence than the tangible life we see around us. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, "He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." The spirit yearns to encounter something or someone who will make sense of the chaos, relieve us from pain and give us hope and meaning. Christ's birth fulfilled centuries of anticipation, giving humanity a picture of God in the flesh.


I am filled with hope as we scurry into the Christmas season; reminded that God's promises are "yes and Amen," that He is still in the business of rescuing hearts and lives out of darkness; that His return is another long-awaited promise to be fulfilled.


If you are heart sick from the wait, I'm praying for you in this season. If you find yourself wondering about the Christ part of Christmas, I pray that you would open yourself up to what He might do if you let Him in. His presence is worth the wait.

 

To learn more about AIM, follow the link to their website here: aimfree.org

For info specific to their expansion into Belize, follow this link: aimfree.org/belize




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