Be Prepared to Be Surprised

So, Josh and I went to get an ultrasound, yes we are pregnant! Expecting in January! But what’s really a surprise is that there are TWO little babies growing inside me! Yes, Twins! I could not believe the ultrasound technician; I kept looking at the door expecting some hidden camera show host to debrief me from this epic prank. But it wasn’t a prank, or a dream. This is happening. And it’s both exciting and terrifying. Exciting because we saw them. We saw there tiny, little formed bodies playing and snuggling together in the same little, precious space. And terrifying because all the questions, fears, logistics, and worries rushed through my mind like a stampede of wild babies (3 children under 2)!!

But the peace of God comforts me. Why? Because He is NEVER surprised.

Me, on the other hand, I have never ever ever…EVER been so surprised by anything in my entire life! Twins does not run in my family, we were preparing for ONE brother or sister for Silas, not TWO. But God knew the whole time,  probably snickering and smiling with joy as he knit the two from one! These are His little wonders, his precious creations. :)

A good surprise is humbling. Because for a moment you think you got it all figured out. For a moment, you think you are in control. A good surprise reminds us that we are not all-knowing, we are semi-knowing at best. Our mind forges shortcuts and stereotypes to create a sensation of omniscience.  Because it’s easier to hide in what we know than  to embrace the humbling truth that only God knows what’s next. Only He knows what tomorrow looks like, he formed us and numbered our days. His mind has no short circuits. He is all-knowing.  And this reality is simply a constant opportunity to humble ourselves, and trust Him with every prepared surprise.

Something I’ve been meditating on since I found out about my little surprise(s) :

 Phil. 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Sandwich Living

I thought I would take a moment to blog about sandwiches, not only because it aligns with Liz Lemon’s Sandwich Worldview, but because I had a good whoa moment over a sandwich recently.

In our house, I usually start making meals, but Josh finishes them. Why?  Well, mainly because He loves to cook and I prefer….     to just eat. Also, because I’m a cave woman in the kitchen. Me. hungry. make sandwich. with bread. add peanut butter. hurry. fast. eat. now.  That being grunted, I mean said, there will probably never be a recipe on this blog, I’m just not that person.

Good think my husband will eat anything ;)

Good thing my husband will eat anything ;)

My husband on the other hand, cooks food that makes me cry.

Seriously, I know that sounds exaggerated and crazy, and maybe pathetic, but sometimes, I literally start tearing up as I eat. I cry because I can taste the time, love, and effort.  I cry because Josh is intentional: He picks out ingredients, cuts it, and layers it all with specific purpose in mind. The onions are sliced small to not overwhelm, and intermingled with red peppers to emphasis their sweetness. Given the same ingredients, I would have not thought twice about how to cut or where to place. I get too impatient to stop and think intentionally about the end result. My meal ends up tasting boring, ordinary, and loveless.

I think it’s safe to say, How we cook reflects how we live. I hurry through recipes and ignore directions. I avoid extraneous ingredients, while imagining myself in a restaurant. All these observations infer less than amiable qualities about who I am and how I live.

But I’m telling you right now I desire to be different. Not because I envy “Martha Stewart Living” homemakers, but because I know that hard work is honored and being intentional blesses everyone involved.

eatdrink

The extra two minutes adding fresh peppers, and rosemary, gives not only more flavor to our food, but more purpose to our living. These types of sandwiches make us feel more loved. It sounds silly, but it’s true. Anyone can swipe peanut butter on a piece of bread to feed the hungry… but when time is spent building a better sandwich, people can taste the love. 

So, when I’m feeling lazy and blah, I look to my husband and his sandwiches for inspiration. I think about how that sandwich made me feel.  I wasn’t just fed, I was understood, appreciated and loved.

I know everyday I’m going to have to remind myself come morning, evening, and night: the extra time IS there and it IS worth it. Slow down. Become a part of the process, Turn a mundane, drudgerous day into an opportunity to instil love and value. Ditch survival-mode and begin the persevering march through intentional living, remembering every little chirping mouth deserves something special. cutefood

Dinner with Elmo

Whatta whirlwind! SO much has happened since our last blog.  We don’t live in Julian anymore, We have a ONE year old, instead of a __month old, and…

We became fully funded to start our ministry at Indian Hills Camp!…

Literally, within minutes of our deadline. Another lesson in God’s provison: It’s always in His timing, and it’s always perfectly sufficient, and seemingly effortless.  Again and again we are standing in awe of his provisions little and small. From the inhales and the exhales, to the lunches and the dinners.  God is good, gracious, and gentle as he tends to us, His sheep.

We moved to Jamul last Monday and are settling in to our cozy two bedroom trailer on the outskirts of camp.

A few boxes are still piled on top of each other, and closets are jammed full, but the living room and kitchen are  functioning, Hooray!  Moving with an infant was challenging, but having super-awesome-helper friends made all the difference.  AND did I mention dinners every night planned by our ever so caring co-workers?!   Never in my life have I been blessed to behold a homemade chicken pot pie, complete with a heart stamped center.  And it wasn’t just delish food, it was wholesome company.

Silas loves the screen doors

 

Each night we were welcomed into a fellow staff member’s home, for dinner and conversation.  We’d talk for hours about how we met our spouses and other fun facts that most assuradely lead to laugh out loud moments. Like when Marlin (camp name: Kazoo) randomly perfomed flawless impersonations of Gollum and Elmo.  And when I say flawless, I mean flaw-less.  These are some amazing peeps we have neighboring us.  Not just because of their humor or hospitality, but because of their testimonies and faith in the Lord Jesus.  It is so encouraging to be surrounded by fellow believers and to work towards one common goal– to reach and teach children for Jesus.  We are so thankful for this new opportunity to impact so many children for the Lord.  I can’t wait to share more with you about what the Lord does here.

 

This week is Easter camp. Please pray for the 200 + refugee kids from City Heights area that will be attending this week. These kids can bring a lot of their past demonic forces with them from their previous countries and homes in City Heights. The spiritual battle can be a little heavier in many ways. Prayer is crucial for this camp. It is one of our favorite camps for the year!!!10154529_651184028262935_7275908128718941880_n Last year we had over 75 kids receive Christ. sing the kids up to IHC on Tuesday, Weds. and Thursday. 40 high schools students will be the Camp Counselors and 10 college students as our Support Staff running the activities. These kids can bring a lot of their past demonic forces with them from their previous countries and homes in City Heights. The spiritual battle can be a little heavier in many ways.Prayer is crucial for this camp. Thanks for your prayers and your support!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depth Over Distance

Depth over Distance

By Josh Rasmussen

Mark 12:43-44

New International Version (NIV)

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

We may build an empire, financial or spiritual, and out of its wealth rejoice at the distance covered, its reach.  We may temper our service to God and neighbor as to not burn out, sustain, to go the distance.  We may travel to the ends of the earth in His name, and after all these things still not know Him.  Still not understand the depths of His sacrifice.  To know the fellowship of His sufferings, to lose our lives, to be poured out like a drink offering, to cast our entire self onto His alter.  Out of our poverty of spirit, have we given all?  Out of our poverty of wealth, have we given all?  Out of our poverty of time, have we given all?  Out of our poverty of energy, have we given all?  Out of our poverty of relationships, have we given all?  When all resources have been exhausted, have we given all?

If we are honest, we tend to give to a point.  We calculate time, distance, effectiveness, and often give from our excesses.  Yes, occasionally we dig into our resources for something big, something really effective, a great cause, something that will go the distance.  Has the Lord ever challenged you to be like the poor widow? To empty the depths of whom you are, and what you have?  To make every commitment and decision for the Lord as if it was your last?  Can you wager your entire future well-being on Christ?  Can we answer that call?

Philippians 3:10

Living Bible (TLB)

10 Now I have given up everything else—I have found it to be the only way to really know Christ and to experience the mighty power that brought him back to life again, and to find out what it means to suffer and to die with him.

Depth over Distance.

I Left My Purse… ON MY CAR

So, two days ago I left my unzipped purse on the top of my car. I know… I’m pretty awesome like that.  Josh had already driven about a mile before I realized– the great extent of my awesomeness.  He pulls a u-ey, and we start eyeballing the road like crazed people who leave essentials on the outside of their cars.  While Turning onto the street where we live, I see a book, a notepad, some chapstick, and a few busted pens, but no purse.  I grab the miscellaneous items in a dash, and begin searching up and down the highway for a brown purse, a bright orange phone, and a gray wallet.

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[just thankful it wasn’t the carseat]

Boy, did I feel like crap.

Fortunately, my husband remained graciously silent. The last thing I needed was commentary.  Stressed and defeated, I mired in the reality of my mindless decision.

Suppressing the self-pity, I began wrapping my brain around Continue reading

Grace-filled raffles and slow-cooked cakes

Only 10 more days until until our projected move date, April 1st! (expect blog entry later about Julian withdrawals and why)  We had a great response at our Fundraiser…Seriously generous people out there! We were blessed to see our church community gather and rally for our cause at Indian Hills Camp. We raised over $1400 that night while singing songs and raffling off a few handmade items.1012265_10152737912423849_1726151829_n

One of which, the canvas art, was ironically won, by a small child who only put in one ticket,  the one ticket everybody received when they walked in the door. I was hoping someone would win an item for free because that is a tiny example of salvation in Jesus, that is a glimpse of grace. We didn’t earn it, or deserve it, but we get it freely because of Jesus’ work on the cross.

Now that I got the gospel message out of the way…
The fundraiser night continued with a funny skit where Keegan, an amazingly awesome adolescent dressed up like Continue reading

Checkin’ in

Hey Guys!

Hey Guys!

I am sitting here typing surrounded by piles of folded papers, insert slips, and addressed envelopes(hopefully to you!).  Yes it is that time.  We will be doing a lot of stuffing today even though we are a long way off from Thanksgiving.  But in doing this we have been reminded of how thankful we are of all the wonderful people God has put in our lives.  Hopefully by the end of the day we will have gotten most of our support letters out, with only minor scrapes, bruises and Continue reading