May 14, 2014

Why I Didn't Accept the “Bible Verse Challenge”

I was nominated for the Bible Verse Challenge. Twice.

But I didn't accept. 

(Am I supposed to donate $100 to the charity of my choice now, or something?)

Not because I don't think this challenge is great. I mean, what is better than using that “what’s on your mind” box to share Scripture?

I’ll be honest, one reason I didn't accept the challenge is simply because I didn't make the time to do it. 

But my other somewhat valid reason is that I don’t really have a favorite Bible verse. 

Verses have taken turns being “favorite” as they especially encouraged me through ups and downs, but I can’t think of one that really takes the cake.

Jocelyn really enjoyed her "cousin's" birthday party.
Especially the nachos.

But while I didn’t accept the Bible Verse Challenge, I absolutely LOVED reading what was shared.

We are in such an interesting phase of life right now, weeks away from moving back to the U.S., weeks away from transitioning between jobs, houses, countries, cultures.

I have been struggling through every sort of emotion, depending on what is crossing my mind and laying on my heart at the moment: anticipation, anxiety, fear, sadness, depression, excitement, anger, frustration, confusion, stress, etc.

Always creeping on the neighbors.

But Scripture is alive. It teaches, rebukes, corrects, trains in righteousness.

And so often, it encourages.

I loved reading this: To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God…Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

After Collin and I had been fervently praying this verse for weeks. Because it is discouraging to wait to hear back from principals and hope for interviews and job offers…and hear nothing for so long.

Hangin' out.

I loved reading this: Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will sour on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

After it has been a really long month of accreditation work. Because I am tired. And starting to lose my mind. (Proven by me throwing our phone away in the trash can and having to call it at least five times before we could figure out where the ringing was coming from.)

Finding every nook and cranny to climb on.

I loved reading this: In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

When Collin started the interview process with schools in both Chicago and Indianapolis. Because while we both desired to be in Chicago, we still had to keep our hearts and minds ready and willing to go through whatever door opened.

Breakfast in Panajachel.

I loved reading this: For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

After Collin told me from that he got a job offer at Chicago Christian High School in Palos Heights, Illinois. Because he officially accepted that job offer.  And because although we told ourselves we would be fine moving back without a job and living with my parents for an indefinite amount of time, it feels really great to move back with a job...and the knowledge that we will be crowding my generous parents for only two months. (I think it’s safe to say we were on the verge of “giddy” that day.) 

Mango. A new favorite.

I loved reading this: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

When making my “to do” and “to buy” lists for moving back. Because phones and apartments and packing and moving and settling and…and…and… don’t happen on their own. And make me feel a little anxiety when I forget to trust the Lord's provision.

I loved reading this: The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.

After giving Jocelyn a bath. Because this time, God’s delight and singing came through the giggles of a nine month old, splashing water all over me and washing away much bottled-up stress.

Happy. And it's contagious.

I loved reading this: The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

After reflecting on where we have been and where we are going. Not only because this verse is printed on Jocelyn’s diaper bag, but also because it really speaks to me today. The Lord has done so many great things for us. And there have been some really BIG things that He has already done to prove He is paving the way for our venture back. He is always providing, always caring, always loving.

And among all of the other emotions and ups and downs we are going through, we are filled with joy.

Grace and Peace,