Genuine Thankfulness

Psalm 138:1&2 I give You thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart…….and give thanks to Your name for Your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your name and Your word.

We have SO much to be thankful for! The last couple of months and the last year have been a HUGE life change and transition period for our family. As I look back on all that has happened, I am truly humbled and in awe of His faithfulness, His grace, His provision, His protection and how He answers prayer!

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In the short time that we have been here my life is forever changed. God is teaching me what true contentment and genuine thankfulness looks like. God is beginning to show me just how much I have taken for granted. To have clean water is truly a blessing, we have food in abundance, we have a vehicle and the means to go to a hospital if need be, we have a house and electricity and indoor plumbing and running water. We don’t have to live in fear of a storm coming and blowing our roof off or flooding our homestead, and every time our electricity goes out, which can be quite often :), I am reminded not to take it for granted. We have a washer and dryer. I have done laundry by hand and it is hard work and time consuming….especially the way our boys just seem to be attracted to dirt. 🙂 I am beyond thankful for this luxury and the time it saves me. Those are just a few of the everyday things I am so thankful for and I pray I never take for granted again.

I can’t write a post about thankfulness and not mention my amazing family. I sit back amazed at how God is changing and molding our children’s hearts for Him. I know that He is and will continue to use them to do great and mighty things in His name. I am a very blessed Make. (A little siSwati lesson there 🙂 Make pronounced maw-gay means mom.) I am also beyond thankful for my amazing husband. I am so thankful that God has given me a partner, a best friend, to do life with. It is an amazing gift to have a father and husband who is selfless, who loves and adores his family but most of all who hungers and thirsts for righteousness, who is sensitive to the Holy Spirit and loves God with all his heart. As I look around me and see so many broken homes I have never been so thankful for my family.

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Most of all I am thankful for what we have in Christ! It is only in Him that we can have true contentment and genuine thankfulness. I have never seen the true need or hunger or thirst like I have here but I also have never seen the joy or genuine thankfulness and contentment like I have here either. He never promised His children an easy trial free life here on this earth…actually quite the opposite. (John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.) It is how we view this world and react to our trials that make all the difference. We are only passing through, our real home is in Heaven. Are we living each day with eternity in mind?
As believers, as brothers and sisters in Christ we are beyond blessed and have so much to be thankful for!!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

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Our New Norm

Hello Everyone!

It’s hard to believe we’ve been here for a month already but in some ways it seems like this has always been our home.

When we sit back and watch our children, it is further confirmation from God that we are truly where He wants us. They haven’t missed a beat. They LOVE it here! We see it in their faces, in their smiles, in their desire to go to the care points and play with the children daily, in the way they are beginning to speak Siswati and in their prayers as they thank God that we are finally in Swaziland!

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It has definitely been a crazy month, with so much to learn ministry wise, culturally, the language and planning Christmas parties for all the Care Points. Then there is just the day to day living…we needed to figure out the grocery stores, (when you have kids that eat like ours this is a priority:) ) it only took a couple of days of the kids playing in the African soil and me washing clothes in the bathtub to let us know we couldn’t wait another day to get a washing machine. 🙂 and then just all the things you need to make up your house so it can actually be livable.

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I’ll give you just a little rundown of our daily schedule….although it can change daily, it normally looks something like this. Get up in the morning eat breakfast together and then Stephen will head out for the morning meeting with our Swazi staff…which are amazing by the way…and we normally do school in the morning. The rest of the day can (but not always) be filled with home visits, going to the care points to do discipleship, Christmas parties, hospital runs, and just learning the culture and always trying to learn new words in siSwati. We want to get to know the people we serve with and the people God has called us to serve. We don’t ever want to be so consumed with our schedules for the day that we miss what God has for us.

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He has taught us so much this first month. He continues to refine and stretch us, taking us out of our comfort zones. As things may happen that we haven’t planned for or are a surprise to us, we are reminded that we serve an all knowing God. One who is sovereign and nothing takes Him by surprise, and in Him and only Him do we have His peace and joy in the midst of this transition stage.

Thank you so much for your prayers. It has been a great encouragement to get emails saying our family has been covered in prayers! Thank you! Thank you!

Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.