“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”— Lao Tzu

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Why Prayer?

This week I get to do something I have a passion for, teaching!  During this Sept 2011 DTS, all of the staff on base here at DP are taking turns speaking this week and I will be speaking on Thursday (not far away!).  The topic that I am sharing about is Prayer, the five main types of prayer: : Blessing and Adoration, Petition, Intercession, Thanksgiving, Praise, a look at King David's prayer life, and finishing up with hearing the voice of God.
 Why teach on prayer, you might ask?  Well, simply put I love it!  I love chatting with God, having His ideas, thoughts and plans revealed.  Sharing life with Him.  I have been challenged to be real with Him and listen to His dreams over my life.  I also love when I see the look in a students eyes when they get "it"...really hear from God and begin to fall deeper in love with Him through prayer.
Prayer should not be regarded "as a duty which must be preformed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty." E.M. Bounds
So join me in prayer!  Pray for a passion and love of prayer to be born in the hearts of the students, really in all of our hearts.  May we be known by our love and marked by our prayers!

Friday, 16 September 2011

This is Not the Life I Expected....

Bethany on Outreach to El Salvador.
Hello all!  For some time I have been wanting a student to share more of his or her personal story on my blog so that a much clearer picture of the work I have been apart of for the last year could be seen.  I asked a student from this last January's Discipleship Training School to write for me!  So I would like to introduce the beautiful Bethany!  I am honored to know and to be apart of her life.  Her passion for Christ is breathtaking!

"This is not the life I expected. This is not the life I wanted. This is not the life I dreamed of. This is much, much better.
I’ve known since I was 15 that I was supposed to do YWAM. Originally the plan was to do it after high school. Then after high school, the plan was to do it after college and before grad school. By the time grad school rolled around, it was no longer in the plans. I was focused. I had a life plan: graduate; get a career; buy a house; get married; have kids; the end. However, in April of 2010, my plans were beginning to go awry. I was about to graduate from grad school with no job offers in sight, and my on again/off again boyfriend was most definitely off again. I was frustrated and felt trapped. I needed to get away from the familiar. I needed to run. So. What did I do? I joined YWAM.
 As you can tell, my reasons for signing up for DTS were far from holy. In fact, if I were to be completely honest, Jesus was one of the last reasons I was signing up. I saw that Destination Paradise had an internship component and thought that would be an excellent way to get a job after the program. My choices were were well thought out and practical. I had a plan, and Jesus had little to do with it. But it was about to be changed. The first week of DTS I was told that what I put into the school was exactly what I would get out of it.  That got me thinking. I couldn’t remember the last time I had given 100% to anything. I couldn’t remember the last time I had really tried at anything. A lot of people had supported me financially to get to Belize. I had put quite a bit of money into it as well. I wanted a return on the investment.  So, that week, I made a commitment. I told Jesus that I would give 100% to the school, and dared Him to change my life and make a return on my investment. That choice changed my life.
I started reading my Bible daily. Paying attention in lectures. Being mentored. Praying. The God I had known before as distant and demanding began revealing Himself as one that loved me, understood me, and wanted to live life with me. This transformed me. I had lost all passion and purpose, and found it and more in Him.
So. This process began a year and a half ago, as a young woman running away. Where am I now? In  Granada,Nicaragua, finishing up my internship. And that internship? The one that was supposed to give me a career with security ,a house, and a family after? That has become a yearlong commitment with a possibility of staying even longer.  A far cry from anything I expected. But the joy I have found in obeying and following my Jesus is more than any career or relationship could ever offer. This is not the life I expected. This is not the life I wanted. This is not the life I dreamed of. This is much, much better. "  

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Radiantly Single!

This is a quote that has inspired me over the last few days...
"Not without design does God write the music of our lives.  Be it ours to learn the tune, and not be dismayed at the "rest."  They are not to be slurred over, not to be omitted, not to destroy the melody, not to change the keynotes.  If we look up, God Himself will beat the time for us.  With the eye on Him, we shall strike the next note full and clear.
If we sadly say to ourselves, "There is no music in a "rest," let us not forget "there is the making of music in it."  The making of music is often a slow and painful process in this life.  How patiently God works to teach us!  How long He waits for us to learn the lesson!" -Ruskin
Today is my 30th Birthday and it has been filled with great joy and hope.  When I look back over the last ten years, I am filled with wonder at all the things, places and people that I have met and experienced.  But, one issue comes up continually in life and it is not going away.  The number one question that is asked of me is "Why are you not married?"  Great question!  I am not married because...I am not married yet :)  Until that day comes, I have a choice to live a radiantly single life filled with joy and adventure as a single woman, or I can become bitter that I do not have one of the things in this life that I long for.  So, here in my stake in the ground of life "I will enjoy every day as a single woman as long as that is!!"  I will not fear what I do not know and I will trust God for this area, along with all the rest.  I have been told that my thirties are even more fun than my twenties and I plan on finding out if that is true!  Passionately and radiantly single, but not alone.

Friday, 10 June 2011

One of the things I love...

I took this just before eating, had a little photo shoot :)
One thing that I love with a passion is a mango!  It is mango season here in Belize and on the mainland large mango trees have hundreds of beautiful mangoes ripe and ready to eat.  We get shipments into San Pedro and I take great joy in bartering for the best deal on my mango!  Most of the people that I know have had the great pleasure of tasting one of these delicious fruits, but if you have not had a chance to try one before, I highly recommend it!  It can be the most refreshing taste ever; sweet, light, tangy, just heaven.  I was making mango shakes with some of the students the other day and just thinking about how much I enjoy the simple things in life.  One mango = great joy!  Share it with someone and it becomes a double pleasure.  I do not want to ever miss out on a chance to see life through the eyes of my creator.  I think that when God looks down on us enjoying life, living it fully and even tasting it too, He joins me in a smile :)  So, the next time you have "a moment" and notice something that makes you stop and enjoy life...take it in fully.  Live with a passion that takes your breath away, I know that I am.  :)

Monday, 16 May 2011

Going home, to Come home...

I can't get enough hugs! 
Not long ago, I traveled home to the States, Florida, to see my family and friends.  It was a quick two and a half weeks that went by so fast!  It always feels like I just arrive and already it is time to repack to go.  I think for the first time in the last two years I felt that even though I was visiting my "home", it was not my home right now.  I have enjoyed living and working in Belize but it was not until this trip that I had the strong sense that it was home to me. 
 For sometime I have been searching out what is next for me after the end of this summer, it became clear during my trip home that my heart is very much in Belize and passionate about what I am apart of with Destination Paradise YWAM.  I think a good way to describe it is this, working on staff at DP is like putting on your favorite pair of jeans.  These jeans fit you perfectly, make you look really good and feel great, you can know that everything matches them and you can really be yourself!  It is a great feeling for me to understand more about the calling on my life for missions.  I am so excited to share that I will be serving and working with DP for another year starting in September!  Many of my friends and family have already joined me in pray for this time.  Please pray for me as I keep stepping out in faith that the Lord will give me strength, guidance and provision.

May 2011 DTS students 

It is an honor to work with the students and watch them be transformed during their time here. Please pray for the students that are here now in the May 2011 Discipleship Training School.  I have three girls in my small group that I am mentoring.  All three girls are amazing and have already opened up and shared so much life with me!  Please pray that they will have an encounter of God's love during the next twelve weeks.  Be blessed, fighting for passion and truth! 

Monday, 21 March 2011

I have never had a child turn me down for a game of duck-duck-goose...

My new friends who told me that I could
come back everyday forever! 
A few weeks ago during our "mini-outreach" week in the San Pedro community, we spent time working in a local elementary school named New Horizon.  It is always humbling to be in a classroom here in Central America.  There are never enough books and materials or desks for that matter...the teachers do a great job with what they have to work with but with high numbers of children and lack of training it is not an easy job.

It just makes me thankful for the opportunities that I had as a child.  I promise to not complain about the blessing in my life.  Thank you Lord for giving me a beautiful family to grow up in and a great education and now a chance to bless others.  Through the hungry hugs and desire to laugh and play, these children reminded me that each day is a gift, and I want to run full speed around the circle of life and laugh as I slide into my place so that I don't become the next goose.  Stopping to catch my breath, because my passion has taken my breath away!

Monday, 14 March 2011

More than I can dream or imagine...

As a missionary (that is what I am, but sometimes I fight the title) I have gotten use to not having much in the way of "extras" if you know what I mean.  I have perfected the art of simplifying life to the point sometime of  not knowing what to do with more than just the basics.  I can pretty much fit everything I own into a backpack and a box, which makes traveling here in Central America as apart of my job easy.  Getting dressed is simple, it is the choice of this one, this one, or that one.  I pick that one, OK, done!  But, as I said I love the life that I live right now and would not change it for the world.   I think that living a simple life is beautiful and again I would not change it, but sometimes God wants to give me a surprise...something extra, something special, something more.

Over the last few months I have been deepening my friendship with a local Belizan named Florita.  She is a beautiful woman who is growing in her faith and encourages me to treasure each day.  Since I live in community with over 30 people, I jumped at the invitation to a sleep-over party with her and her two daughters in their home.  While I love where I live, to be in a smaller home environment, is a real treat.  One of my friends, a fellow co-worker and I planned to stay over on Saturday night.  Just before leaving we got word that Forita wanted to take us out to dinner and to dress nice before the slumber party.  Not only did she treat us to dinner, but she took us to the restaurant apart of the resort that she works at.  It was so grand, five star!  I felt so romanced by God, so special and spoiled...  I have often felt that as a missionary, one whose work is to serve the Lord, I cannot have the"extras", but why?  God has been challenging my mindset to....dare to dream big, to watch as He provides and even somethings gives me more than I could ever dream of imagine!  Living my passion!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Today is the beginning of the rest of my life...

I know my strengths and weaknesses...and communication is not as strong as I want it to be.  No matter how many times I tell myself to sit down and write about life so that the people who care about me in this world can read it, I don't.  Or, at least not well.  I am just being truthful.  Today marks a turning point...not only did I think about writing, I did!!

I want to use this blog to share about my life here in Belize with Destination Paradise YWAM, to share about my  passion for people and for God, to share about the life I live in community with other staff and students.  I love the way that God loves me and for now He has asked me to move away from many friends and family and say yes to an adventure here in Central America, adding new friends and family.  I don't always know what tomorrow holds, but no matter where we are on this earth or what plans we have made for tomorrow, trusting God is my choice, and I hope your choice too.  His plan is my plan, and well my plan is His plan!  Funny how that works!  Be blessed.  Life with passion is the only way.