“Don’t tell people what they want; tell them who they are.” Bob Goff
So I started a new book last week, Everybody Always. It’s stretching me. God doesn’t tell us to love some people sometimes. He tells us to love everybody always. Love sits by the bedside of someone receiving chemo, looking for ways to brighten the moment. Love also takes a meal to a family who’s in a self-imposed bad place, reminding them they’re not alone. We don’t get to choose whom we love. The one suffering from a deadly illness is no different from the one who made a deadly choice. Everybody needs love.
“God ~ Immanuel ~ was with us, so that we’d be with each other.” Chew on this statement this week and see how God leads you to love someone! Christ is mighty IN you! 😌
A few weeks ago, we had a good friend come from North Carolina to join us at YWAM Tyler’s Worship & Missions Conference: Inspire. Mary Sue walked through our door with a heart ready to receive, and the Lord did not disappoint. The Scriptures tell us that blessed are those who hunger, for they will be filled (Matthew 5:6). Not only did we see Mary Sue filled to overflowing, but our own hearts were filled too. It’s always a pleasure to have friends from “home” join us here. Inspire’s theme this year was Unearthed. I wrote a blog about it for YWAM Tyler, which you can read here if you’d like: Something within Needed to be Unearthed.
So I’ve had this phrase running through my brain lately: Find what you love and do it. I don’t know where I’ve heard it before. The phrase has just captured my attention, and I can’t shake it. I’ve been giving some thought to whether it’s theologically correct. Jesus tells us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. Doing what “I” love seems so selfish, but then I press in deeper and think ~ Didn’t You shape me, Lord, to love doing certain things?
I. Love. Teaching. My heart comes alive in the classroom. I’ve been teaching for years in different settings. I started by homeschooling my kids around our dining room table; then I moved to the classroom in small schools in Thailand and North Carolina. I’ve taught at women’s retreats and even from a pulpit a few times on a Sunday. Because of these experiences, I knew already that I enjoyed teaching, but something happened this year that caused me to love it! Maybe it was the school … Christian Heritage School is quite an amazing place. Maybe it was the students … they’ve captivated my heart, no doubt. I think more than anything it was Jesus … for He knows better than anyone what I love and was made for.
This year it was a privilege to teach at Christian Heritage School, and the pictures above show most of the students I got to work with (a few were absent the day I took a picture). This school hasn’t only been a blessing to me, it has also made a huge impact in my daughter’s life. Teachers come from all over the world to work with these students. They come to equip them academically, but more importantly they are impacting them spiritually and emotionally. Audrey loves where she learns, and I do too.
Last week my students orally presented their persuasive/motivational speeches that they’d written. It was the final project of the year. All of the speeches were filled with quality descriptive words and encouraging thoughts, but one in particular made me cry. As this young man spoke on faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit filled our room and touched our hearts. It was truly a holy moment that I’ll never forget.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to have taught this year. I’m also thankful I’ve found what I love, and that I get to do it from time to time with God’s help! ❤️ Next year, I plan to teach again at CHS, and I can’t wait to embark on another journey with my students.
Love has been on the brain this week a lot. Loving others is a gift we’ve been given. It isn’t optional, nor is it easy, but it is worth it! I’m realizing that I’m good at telling people what they want. I need to get better at telling people who they are, so I’m asking Jesus to help me with that.
Loving what I do isn’t selfish either. It’s actually an expression of God’s heart through me. I love going on long walks and thrifting with Richard. I love being a mom and doing life with my kids. I love playing games with family and friends around our dinner table and eating Richard’s delicious food. I love reading God’s word and discovering more about the God I love. I love old houses and creating welcoming spaces. I love gardening and collecting old antiques. I love finding the treasure in the broken. I love reading aloud Punchinello’s story: You Are Special, and I love giving that book away. I love music, especially singing, but I love to dance too. I love decorating with my mom, and I love cuddling with my dog! There’s so much I love, and I’m learning to trust God in all of these areas and let Him love through me.
Thank you for journeying through life with us. Your prayers and financial support enable us to do what God has called us to here. Every student pictured in this update is a person you’re impacting through partnering with us.
5 Replies to “Letting God Love Through Me”
I love this update.
May God bless you with an old home you can furnish with welcoming spaces.
We love serving alongside you guys.
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Thank you Jeff. I truly value your friendship. You and Heather are a God-send. 😊
I love you!
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It’s coming. Be ready for it. LOVE J+N
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You are special, Jim. I love how you pray for us, believe with us, and encourage us to stay hopeful. Thank you dear Friend 😊