Sunday, December 28, 2008

From Merea.....just me....

One of the joys of this season, that I cherish so dearly, is being with family and friends. Another is receiving Christmas Cards from my dear friends and their families. It is so cute to see my friends, their spouses, and their children as they posed for their card shot and wrote about the year they have experienced. I enjoy reading and being updated on their lives.

So, I would feel really lame as a single. No family. Just me. If I sent out a Christmas picture and update. But I thought I would do so here, on my blog. So, here goes....

Merry Christmas from Merea!

This year has been an eventful one for me, not in the way some would hope, but in a way that God has designed.

Allyson came home from Turkey around this time last year. I invited her to a New Year's Eve party I was attending and she invited a boy. That boy shortly became her boyfriend, fiance and husband. It was fun being maid of honor in her wedding and seeing God provide a love for her that loves Him even more. It was hard too, because you see, I am the oldest. Many comments were made about people feeling sorry for me because my younger sister is getting married before me. I'm okay. It was an exciting time for all of us. God knows what He is doing(I must admit, that sentence costs a lot for me to say and believe, but I do).

Later on that spring, I was a lead in a really fun musical. I have had a lifelong dream of being a musical actress and I got this great role. I got to sing like a large african american woman(which, if you know me, you know that I fit the part well), be the sassy villain, and dance around performing like I had always dreamed. Because of that show, I have been asked to perform in a few different places. and so the bug has bitten.... I love it!

During spring break I was asked to chaperone a trip to Ukraine with my students. So many of them have a heart for the nations now, it was a blessing buying 150 pairs of shoes for 150 orphans and watching my students pass them out, knowing that was the only pair of new shoes they would receive that year. My job, it is great. "Whatever you do to the least of these....."

That summer I returned to Ukraine, but with my church trip. With a miracle gift and a tax return I was able to go. This trip meant so much. There were 3 team members 70 years old or above. Each of them became a special friend and mentor to me. That is one thing that I love about church, my church in particular. The diversity of age. I sat with a new friend who was involved in espionage during the Cold War and knows how to speak Vietnamese who taught me to love the nations even more. A 75 year old woman who spent her life telling her kids and sunday school class about missions and said "its about time I go on mission after teaching it for so long." and a few others in their 50s, 40s, 30s and 20s. When we got there the fields were ready for harvest, and people were hungry for the gospel. It was awesome. I could write for hours about what God did. I meant a girl name Mira, she still comes to my mind often. She came up to me and said that she read my blog and we instantly became friends. She taught me how to be passionate and serious about sharing my faith. I hope we will meet again. On the way home, Jenni, one of my other younger sisters and I were walking through the airport and she told me she thinks she was in love....

So this fall she got engaged, to Jake. (see previous blog) I will never forget that moment. =)

This fall I have been teaching and planning school events. We had a theme of Monopoly for homecoming(which I am in charge of) and it was a great success. Glad that it is over though....

My best friends, Stephanie and Marcella gave birth to Andrew and Anna. Amy got married and we all met in Colorado Springs for a wonderful time. That might have been the highlight of my year. My 4 best friends and I were finally together again. I miss them so much. I'm the only single one left now. I am so thankful that God has provided each one of them with Godly men and wonderful families.

This Christmas season I became a professional singer for some extra money. I auditioned to be in a Christmas Caroling group. I made it. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. I am growing as a musician because of it. Which fits into my summer challenge to do hard things.

I had knee surgery and they found that I had a rare disease called villonodular sinovitis. Yeah, tumors in the joints. They are back already, so pray that they will leave. =)

Highlights of my personal year:
a few of my students wanting to witness to the nations after they listened to my lesson on the unreached.
Another writing me a note and saying they want to serve God more when they walk out of my classroom.
Praise God for using me, despite me.

All in all, I realize how much God loves me and that His love is not shown in circumstances, in earthly treasures, in dreams fulfilled, because I feel like I have none of those. But I have Christ. My treasure. He shows His mercy new every morning. His promises fulfilled that He will never leave us or forsake us. His promise that He will give us a future and a hope....

and hope in Him does not disappoint...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

and Jenni, the beautiful, is engaged.....

and Jake rocks. I thank God for providing such a wonderful man for such an amazing person. I love you both.

and so the family grows. It is so fun.

All is Well

The song I will sing this Sunday is called "All is Well." This song has ministered to me in so many ways throughout the years. It speaks of the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to earth. As I break into my holiday traditions this year I decided to focus and meditate on one specific name of God......EMMANUEL. God is with us. God came to us, He walked this earth, He died on the cross and forgave us. These are the lyrics:

All is well, all is well
Angels and men rejoice
for tonight, darkness fell
into the dawn of love's light
Sing Alleluia

All is well, all is well
let there be peace on earth
Christ is come, go and tell
that He is in a manger
Sing Alleluia

All is well, all is well
Lift up your voice and sing
Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
Sing Alleluia
Sing Alleluia

No matter how bad things can be, no matter how worried we get, how discouraged, how burdened, how afraid, how poor, how abused, how weary we become, how dark the future looks, how hard it is to continue......

Let us remember that PEACE has come.....

with tidings of great JOY....

FEAR not....

Rejoice! For the SUNRISE FROM ON HIGH has come to give light to those in darkness and in the shadow of death
and to guide our feet into the way of PEACE....

Born is now EMMANUEL

Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world

All is well.