Saturday, May 30, 2009


So, the reason for no pictures in my post today, is that my lap top is dying a slow and painful death. It now has no room left on it to upload anything. Dangerous, I know. I need to get an external hard drive asap...

I skipped ahead a couple chapters in Future Grace to a title that grabbed my attention. Future Grace vs. Covetousness.

The chapter on impatience continued to use the idea that we are impatient when we're in an unplanned place at an unplanned pace. This, is my life right now. =)

So, merging that with what I'm now learning about my coveting heart. The book describes covetousness as "desiring something so much that we lose contentment in God." =/

Clenched fists must open and let everything fall out of them. Dreams. Relationships. Living location. Plans. HE is my God. Contentment and joy is in Him alone. Not in things. Not in people. Not in places. (Not in the American culture!)

Contentment in God.
It doesn't have a location. Or a length of time. No people or local churches are attached. God is not too small to find contentment in; rather, when we search for it elsewhere, we sell ourselves short- we are far too easily pleased. He has so much more for us!

God is doing a work. Doing a work in my heart that I am so excited about. I'm beginning to let go of things I didn't realize I was holding onto. Beginning to learn to TRUST Him with all that is within me. Beginning to be EXPECTANT each day as to what He's up to and where I get to watch Him work. He's becoming bigger in my eyes. More powerful. More loving. I'm seeing Him more for who He really is. Oh, what a great King we have!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Future Grace

Currently, I am reading Future Grace by John Piper. It is helping tremendously.

I'm re-reading the chapter titled, "Faith in Future Grace vs. Impatience" because it struck a nerve- in a good way. The first few sentences captured my attention, convicted me, and offered hope.

"Impatience is a form of unbelief. It's what we begin to feel when we start to doubt the wisdom of God's timing or the goodness of God's guidance. It springs up in our hearts when our plan is interrupted or shattered."

Often, I've thought of this year as an "interruption" to what my plans and ideas were for my life. And now as I look ahead, next year can feel that way as well. (Please don't misunderstand: I AM SO excited about things for next year and what God is doing here!)

Recently, I've been reminding myself that my desires (deferred hopes) are not desires that I've made up. GOD CREATED them. To fulfill them. Maybe not in the timing I'd expect, or in the way I thought...but He is faithful. As we sang today, "Yesterday, today and forever You are the same, You never change." He is not a spiteful God. He loves to give good gifts to His children. He keeps His promises.

This journey of continued waiting is not a season. I will be waiting for the rest of my life! Until I die or the Savior returns. I hope to learn to wait in silence and with hope in His Word. Steadfast. Immovable. I want to wait with patience and trust; even when this cutie below grows like a weed on the other side of the pond!

I am excited about the learning that will take place over the coming weeks and months. Faith. In future grace. Grace that is to come. Grace that is guaranteed for whatever comes my way.

I remember reading somewhere that if:

Grace through Faith = Salvation
Works through Unbelief = judgment.


Oh how God is revealing such lack of faith- such unbelief in my heart. And yet, I am thrilled...because with His Holy Spirit, it can only go one direction from here: growth. He knows I am dust. He is my help. He is the One who gives me the grace to have faith anyways. He is the Redeemer of my sinful soul.

LORD, help. Revive our hearts. Awaken our souls. Let us not grow weary or be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Keep us, we pray. We love you.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Beginning of the End.

Last week we had a GAP Team meeting with Dan and Paso (two of the pastors) to discuss the end of this term and what things we'd be involved in before heading back to the States in August. That night, for me, marked the start of the END of the GAP Team. Since then, we've all been talking a lot more about what we're going to miss...and how quickly time is going. Reminiscing and laughing about "old times" which really were only a few short months ago. It's funny to think that a year ago at this time, I didn't even know about the GAP Team's existence...let alone those who would be on it.

To attempt to inform you of all we've been involved in, and the ways God is moving and building our faith is a daunting task. He never stops working. He is so faithful to use weak, unskilled, broken, sinful vessels to bring Himself glory. What a humble God we serve. It's a joy to watch the LORD grow each team member- and how He uses our strengths and weaknesses to mold us as a team and challenge each other.

We've begun to receive "gifts" in different forms from Church members to thank us for being here. Last week we had a delicious roast meal, tonight we had tickets to a Praise Concert (the picture above...Elso wasn't able to make it- he has Aussie friends in town). It's humbling that we are being thanked. We have received so much.

It's not over yet- still a few more months to go. But treasuring and savoring our time together is happening...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day, Mommy!

If you've never had the immense privilege of meeting my mom, let me introduce you. Some know her as Carol Leach. C-A-R-O-L L-E-A-C-H (she spells it because she thinks people don't understand her northern accent), four know her as Mommy, a few as Mimi (including my adorable nephew in the above photo who is SO BIG!), and others affectionately call her "Mamma Leach."

My mom is the most selfless person I've ever met. Always looking for ways to secretly and invisibly serve someone without them noticing. That's when she finds the most joy.

The biggest encourager; number one cheerleader-- always giving an "A+, Gold Star" with two thumbs up when you do something well. I'm not joking...she really does that. The 4th grade teacher in her shines through- and we all love it.

She prays constantly. I wish I had a dollar (or pound, actually) for the number of times she's prayed for me in my lifetime. I can't count the number of times she's called in the morning and said, "I was up all night praying for you-- are you ok?" When she says she was up all night-- she was. Really. Up all night praying. For me.

My mom's faith and trust in God staggars me. Through the very high "ups" and very low "downs" even just in the last several years of my watch my mom, who loves me in a unique way to everyone else on the planet, respond appropriately in compassion, joy, words of comfort, wisdom, acts of kindness, and a finger always pointing to the LORD. Encouraging me to thank Him for His faithfulness, or reminding me of His faithfulness. As I get older and look back over my childhood and teen years, my perspective of my mom changes. As I consider what it must've been like for her to walk through what she with me in the ways she did (wow, its amazing), and always have eyes that were set on things AHEAD. That's where her focus is. What God is GOING to do. What HOPE we have for change. Future grace. She exhibits patience. Perseverance. Graciousness. Forgiveness.

The heart of her husband trusts her. She does him good and not harm all the days of her life. Oh she serves Daddy so well. Everytime we get off skype its because she wants to do something to serve him before he gets home from work. We, as her family, are her greatest joy. You better believe that no matter WHAT we are doing, if we're all together...mommy's smiling. And repeating time and time again as she rubs her chest, "I just love being together." My brother JJ does the best impression.

Mommy, I hope to be half the godly woman, wife, mom, and friend that you are someday. I pray you sense God's pleasure today. Your children love you. (Especially me.)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bowling with Bettws girls

Today Ivy and I took some year 7 Bettws girls bowling. It was a great time just to hang out with them outside of school. You might notice several faces from our shopping trip a few weeks ago-- a small "outing" group is forming; I'm so pleased!

I have some big hopes as to what my relationships with these girls might look like next year even when the GAP team isn't going to Bettws every Thursday morning. We'll see what the LORD is up to. He wants them saved even more than me. Please join me in praying for their eyes to be opened to the beauty of the cross. God is our only hope in this life. Everything else fails. He is the only Faithful One. Oh how I need Him; how they need Him-- they just don't know it yet.
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