“Everybody’s got a story. and it’s not the one they’re telling.” Donald Miller
I’m reading Scary Close right now. Donald Miller’s writings always provoke me to think deeply. Through sharing his own personal stories, Donald essentially holds up a mirror and invites all, who read his books, to look inward. God’s creation is quite marvelous, but too often we don’t marvel at the reflection we see. Instead, we criticize and scrutinize. This type of self-barragement is unhealthy. Then, that same critical eye exerted on ourselves is used to tear down others too. We all have stories though, and I’m learning how very important it is to listen for the ones that aren’t being told ~ the ones within myself and the ones all around me.
I enjoy staffing a school because of the one-on-one connections I get to have with the students. Last night, I talked on the phone to a student from last semester’s DTS (Discipleship Training School). It was good to hear her voice. Her laughter always did make my heart smile, so I enjoyed hearing it once again while we talked on the phone. I asked her how DTS has impacted her life now that she’s living in California and working a full-time job. Her words really encouraged me. She said, “I learned in DTS that everyone has value. EVERYONE. In God’s eyes, we all matter. Everyday I encounter people that are really hard to love, but then I remember they too have value.” WOW. What a take-away!
Everyone has a story. We need to be listening for the one they’re not telling, the story behind the story. We need to remember everyone has value too, and it’s not based on what they do and don’t do. Value stems from being created in God’s image. God so loved the world that He gave: He gave Himself when He fashioned us from the dirt. He gave Himself when He redeemed us on the cross. He gave Himself when He filled us with Living Water. Value obligates. Because of the tremendous worth we have in His eyes, He just kept giving . . .
“Don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” (Luke 12:32 NLT)
. . . and giving! For God so loved . . . He gave. I want to live the rest of my life loving this way.
Audrey and Grace have successfully finished two weeks of school. Thank you for praying for them. Continue to pray for Grace. It takes her a long time to do her school work because the language is a challenge, but she’s doing great! Her attitude is always so positive. It gives me joy to watch her learn and experience things for the first time. Audrey started soccer this week and her first game will be next Saturday. She’s playing on our community league, and it’s fun to watch her play, well for me at least. I think Richard is exhausted by the end of a game because he gets so caught up in it all. I have to remind him he can’t coach from the bleachers. We’re there to simply cheer her on! 🙂 This year, I’ll be assisting in one of Audrey’s classes at CHS ~ Latin. Mainly I’m just a helping hand when the teacher needs it. Most days, I’m in the back watching. It’s been fun observing Audrey learn. She picks up on things fast and enjoys the challenge.
Kyle and Kelly recently visited, and we had such a great time with them. It is always so much fun to be together as a family. They’re very happy in their marriage and jobs. I’m so thankful. Emily started back at WCU as a junior. She’s thrilled not to be living in a dorm anymore and is renting an apartment with two other girls. I think she enjoys adulting! 🙂 Some have asked about her health; she’s been feeling okay for the most part but continues to have some challenges that need addressed. Next week, she’ll get a second opinion from a different pulmonolgist. Praying for the Lord’s healing and guidance in her life. Molly continues to work hard here in Texas. She’s been praying a lot about the next step. Sometimes I think she needs to be a comedian. She has a humor that can make nails crack! Laughter is definitely needed in this world. Thank you for your continued prayers for our whole family. I know they are making a difference!
You are loved dear friends. We couldn’t do what we are here without your partnership. Thank you for the countless of ways you give to us! We feel your love deep within every time you call, text, support, pray, write, and visit. It’s a joy to be journeying together!
As we continue to serve as missionaries in East Texas, we value your partnership to keep us ministering to the nations. Find out how to partner with us on our partnering page.