Hope Through Unity

Several years ago my oldest daughter and I had the opportunity to travel to Acuña, Mexico with my husband’s aunt and uncle. We were joining up with men, women, and children of all ages from all over America as part of a missionary group with an organization by the name of Casas Por Cristo (Houses for Christ). Their main goal is to share Jesus’ love by blessing and serving a family in need through a house building project in one of their designated building-locations.

When we all arrived in Acuña we had a large group of around 100 volunteers with a gymnasium that served as our gathering hub for sleep, food, cold showers, and devotions. We were split into even groups on the first day so a total of five homes would be built in Acuña over a four day period.Our team of twenty-ish made an immediate connection with the same like-minded purpose — to mesh work and Jesus’ love through building a house for a sweet Hispanic family…and goodness the family was precious.

The father and son worked on what would become their new home right along side our team, while the mother and grandmother made it a priority to fill us up everyday on authentic local dishes and Mexican hot cocoa and donuts. Side note: If you’ve never had Mexican hot cocoa you’re missing out! It’s actually available in Walmart stores so make sure to treat yourself!As we came to the end of our mission trip, with the house nearly completed, there was a moment where we all gathered for a dedication ceremony.

David, our Casas Por Christo team leader, translated what the Hispanic father wanted so desperately for our team to know. He shared that in the time before our arrival he and his wife had been struggling with their son’s emotions and depression. This eleven year old boy had been contemplating thoughts of suicide, which unfortunately in that area is quite common for that age group. But when our team arrived to help build them a home his young son’s happiness had finally returned.

Both the father and son had been given a chance to truly experience self-worth by visually seeing how their hands and a remarkable end-goal could help create something of great value for their family.And then David translated something I’ll never forget—

The dad had noticed something within our group that struck him.

Unity.

Our group of twenty, meeting for the first time — some from D.C. to California, others from North Dakota and Kansas, and a mama and her little girl from Nebraska — had come together with evidence of unity to spur us along. Even this native man could sense and had witnessed the unity that had formed in our group without at all understanding our language.

It was finally clear to me that while building that house in Mexico, a structure wasn’t the only thing being made…

I share this story with you because we’re living in a time where uncertainty is prevalent.

In our world things are messy right now…things feel unstable to some, meanwhile others are firmly gripping fear.

And I think deep down many of us have this yearning to be understood…to express our feelings, to be heard…to feel unified…whether we are politicians, doctors or nurses, students, working fathers, stay at home moms, elderly, laid-off or working from home people — we desire connection.

Unity can be described as oneness, one in spirit and like-mindedness. It’s not something that just happens, but it’s something that can be learned when we communicate well with one another to know and understand our hopes and expectations.

The unity that took place amongst two by fours, homemade stucco, and a group of Jesus lovers during my time in Acuña is the same type of unity that our nation and world need to strive for in the midst of the current chaos; even if it can only happen emotionally and spiritually right now.

Unity was formed in the book of Nehemiah thousands of years ago with the rebuilding of the walls in Jerusalem, such a motivational and powerful story. This would be a great place to start reading your Bible if you’ve never done so before, or even if you just need a refresher on this story.

We also see unity throughout the book of Acts when the first church is established. In Acts 2 verse 44 we read, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”

Unity.

With Easter among us it’s such an amazing time to remember perfect unity is truly a gift from God. He longs for us to be united with Him, pouring out His love for sinners through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus. Sweet victory proclaimed, when up from the grave Jesus arose giving us prime unity with His Father as we make the choice to believe, trust, and follow while receiving the Holy Spirit. May our example of faith in Him be a true example of unity to those watching in a way that points to God…For His Purpose.

That daughter of mine that I shared a trip to Mexico with still talks about that experience and begs to go back again one day…in due time…when finances and plans make sense…she’s fourteen now and last week with a fire in her soul said, “mom wouldn’t it be awesome if this coronavirus brought about a spiritual revival!?”

“Ya it would Baby Girl…ya it would”…I responded with a longing hope of unity swelling within.

I pray unity through understanding, relationships, and God would bring us to a lasting celebration of that sort sooner than later.

The One Thing We Need…

This is gonna be a short and simple post and I’m not sure I’ll post again for a while.

I think so much has become overcomplicated and overwhelming lately in America and all over that I honestly just desire some basic, surefooted instructions…anyone else?

As I sat down this morning to do my Bible study I thought about how I had a choice to make. I could choose to whine around for the umpteenth day in a row and be irritated with the circumstances of our world given the mess of the Coronavirus or I could focus on God’s faithfulness and change my perspective to a positive one. In that moment the words ‘He will renew your strength’ came to mind…I flipped my Bible open to Isaiah 40:31 which says, ‘but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’ Continue reading “The One Thing We Need…”

DIY Rope Shelf Decor Gift Idea #2

I had this “grand” idea that I was going to post a DIY project once a month this year…not sure if my typical procrastinator self is showing true colors or if everyone is feeling that this year is flying already?!

Last month I scrambled to post the DIY Morse Code bracelets before January was up and now here this month’s DIY post is barely making it, and it doesn’t help that February cuts me shy a few days!!! …Of course this year is a leap year, thankfully, otherwise this post surely wouldn’t have happened!!!

Ugh but alas here we go, and the best part is this project is so darn quick, simple, and decor versatile that it keeps me excited about throwing this post together at the last minute!

Isn’t it sweet? Lets get started! Continue reading “DIY Rope Shelf Decor Gift Idea #2”

He❤️rt Lessons

This is my son Warren’s first year in public school and he’s loving it! In fact the other day I casually asked him if he wanted to be in public school or homeschooled again and he informed me that no way was he doing school at home again… “sorry mom,” he said, “but I can actually understand math now!” …well okay then son!

This past week they had to make Valentine boxes. I wish I had thought to take a picture of it for the sake of this post but I wasn’t that organized and it’s at school now, so no picture at the moment. He made a shoebox to look like a Pokeball (Pokémon) by painting it with red, white, and black. It turned out nice and was super simple. I bought him a large bag of individually packaged Skittles candies with Valentine cards to attach and pass out for their class party.

The evening that he made out the Valentine cards he happened to have his homeschooled sister help with the job. I didn’t think anything of it and heard the two of them spouting out his classmate’s names along with teacher’s names as they wrote them out. Continue reading “He❤️rt Lessons”

Walking in the Light

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17

I don’t know about anyone else, but for myself I’ve needed the reminder of that promising verse many times.

Because, frequently, Satan longs to infuse the negative over me—there are times when he holds me back mentally, taunting me with my past…times when he tries to drag me down and I allow him to. Moments where I focus more on the world’s ways rather than Christ’ truth. Days where I feel like all I see is a mess rather than a message—where I only hear the disappointment rather than encouragement.

It’s in those doubting episodes that I have to glean insight from God’s steadfast promises, holding onto the hope that I am absolutely not defined by my past; and as a believer I’m made new in Christ just like the above verse states. Continue reading “Walking in the Light”

I’m Over You Fear!

Forewarning: this is a sensitive one…

Maybe you’ve noticed my absence in writing lately. I’ve honestly been trying to avoid this post and I haven’t been able to write anything else in the meantime…but I can feel the Holy Spirit whispering “write this out!!!”

So I’m going to be obedient — here we go…

“Why do you care what anyone else thinks about you?” she asked, almost begging it out of me with deep concern.

My eyes zeroed in on hers and my words went something like this as I revealed to yet another friend my very real and ongoing personal struggle , “I don’t know, I guess it goes back to my people-pleasing motives. As much as I want to think it doesn’t, I suppose the sexual abuse from my childhood probably messes with me still, subconsciously…and that’s why I’m bothered if I think someone has a problem with me.”

That conversation between my friend and I isn’t too terribly seasoned, the words of encouragement she spoke over me as we visited are still fresh on my mind.

Fear is something I struggle with almost daily. And fear of acceptance is my biggest battle.

I want people to accept me for who I am. I don’t want to let them down. I want them to be pleased with who I’ve become.

There are times when I feel like I’m okay and other times when I think I could largely benefit from temporarily living in a mental institute to sort out and nullify my crazy. My friend had caught me on a not-so-good day. Continue reading “I’m Over You Fear!”

Even If (part 2)

Part two of Even If…

After learning my daughter’s recent celiac test results came back positive, I’ve thought about how Satan could have a heyday with this, because before I knew that, I’d celebrated with a blog post (last week) on how McKenzie was better, her blood work was great the second time, and we were out of the woods praising God for healing…but then in the days since, the outcome has changed, so do we still have reason to celebrate and praise Him?

Absolutely!!

Do I still believe God can totally heal McKenzie, or that the positive test results for celiac may have shown up as a fluke deal, and that when we go to our next appointment to see the GI doctor later this month they’ll tell us she’s completely fine and to go back home?

Absolutely!!

BUT even if it’s not in God’s plan, even if our circumstances don’t change, even if McKenzie is fully diagnosed with “silly yak” disease we’re going to praise God regardless, and our faith is going to remain solid—because God is still God, He’s in control, and His ways and plans our better than ours. (Isaiah 55:8-9) Continue reading “Even If (part 2)”