Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 15, Trip 4 - Haiti Mission - Modern Day Chivalry

"In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered." ~1 Peter 3:7

My husband pushes the grocery cart through the snow while holding onto me so my poor arthritic legs don't give out and I fall.

My husband brings me my medicine so I don't have to go up or down the stairs and heats up my heat packs for me without me even having to ask.

My husband can make me laugh even when I'm so mad at him I want to spit fire.

My husband prays for me more than I'll ever know.

My husband has learned to not walk as fast when I'm with him and reaches to hold my hand when I least expect it and does so knowing how to hold my hand without it hurting.

My husband knows that disease has changed me and changed our marriage as well as our future, but he loves me anyway.

My husband can fix a toilet, wire a house, and install a furnace. But at the end of the day, he's still man enough to flip some grilled cheese when his wife is in too much pain to stand at the stove.

My husband treats my son like his own son and together we have a tried and true family though we've never shared the blessing of having our own children.

My husband is thousands of miles away, but in a world where wives are disrespected everyday, I am blessed to have a husband who still believes in treating me well and loving not only who I am, but who I am changing into each and every day.....and I miss him.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 11, Trip 4 - Haiti Mission - The Joy of Letting It Snow

So....we got about 3-5 inches of snow today. Two days ago it was 40+ degrees. The low tonight is supposed to be 11. Oh the cruelty of living through Ohio winters. And Ohio summers. This is not an RA/fibromyalgia friendly state.

So my pain has been bad to okay to tolerable to less tolerable...not quite to "bad" yet again. I would say that I'm ready for spring so that I'll feel better, but last year that didn't seem to make too much of a difference. The winter is bad for the RA and the summer is bad for the fibromyalgia. Whaddaya gonna do?

So, I guess my best option is to just find joy. Joy in friends that come over to visit. Joy in the sound of my boys laughter. Joy in the cuddle of my dogs next to me. Joy in the smell and feel of a blanket right from the dryer. Joy in the beauty of freshly fallen, beautiful white snow.

And I think....oh to have 90 degrees and sunny in Haiti.....

Don't forget, I'm still accepting donations to try to make it to Haiti to the work camp for it's dedication. Go www.paypal.com under premierbyjacque@yahoo.com. All donations are SUPER appreciated!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 8, Trip 4 - Haiti Mission - Swallowing Pride

My husband has asked me to join him for the dedication ceremony at the camp where he has been working in Haiti on March 4. Though I am a very prideful person and don't like to ask for donations, my ONLY option for making this happen is by putting it out there. Please feel free to contact me directly at premierbyjacque@yahoo.com or you can go to Paypal and make a payment using the same email address.

I guess the only way to see what God can do with something is by putting the need out there.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 4, Trip 4 - Haiti Mission - Not a Word

"Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." ~1 Peter 3:4

The past few days have been quiet and relatively drama free. Of course, I have boys so when I say relatively, I mean, well, relatively speaking. I spoke with Chris for the first time today since he left the states on Monday. I've been focusing on my physical health and readjusting the boys schedule that I haven't really taken the time to get emotional about it.

Until today.

There is a certain feeling of finality when folding the remainder of Chris' clean laundry. I leave some of his sweatshirts hanging in the basement just because I like the idea that they're still out and not put away. I leave his tennis shoes under the coffee table where he last took them off because it makes me remember that he's still a presence here.

So, I shed some tears while folding laundry. But you know what? God is faithful. It was only minutes from finishing that task that my husband called to make sure that he would be able to talk to me today. The quiet and focus on rest has been nice, but it doesn't mean that I haven't missed the presence of my husband. There is so much about him that I miss, even if it's just his snoring that wakes me in the middle of the night.

"God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times." ~Lamentations 3:25 (The Message)

So God has proven to me in the last year that He has been so meticulously working on me for the past 5 years. I never dreamed that this is where I would be right now. It's so much better than I thought I would have. I have a husband who loves me and a Savior who has brought me to a place of trust in that husband, but more importantly a trust in the faithfulness of the Lord.

So, I have a busy weekend ahead, but I'm going to continue to relish in the quiet evenings that the Lord is giving me and pray that I can start having a gentler, quieter spirit in the days to come.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 1, Trip 4 - Haiti Mission - Better than expected

"Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos."~Charles M. Schulz

I would have to say it was by far the worst "goodbye" to date and yet the best "goodbye" to date. Hard for both of us, though Chris would never admit it, but reassuringly the last goodbye for quite some time. The final 8 weeks left to go, with prayers being sent regularly for the project to finish early. All 8 weeks have teams scheduled to work and I know that Chris is looking forward to seeing old friends come back for a second time to work on the camp. At first he didn't want to take the video camera, but I think it hit us both at the same time that we wanted to be able to share with others what the finished camp looks like.

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." ~1 Peter 4:10

So, my loving husband is off to serve using the skills that the Lord has gifted him (he has yet to accept that one of those is leadership,)and I find God's timing impecable as always as my Women's Ministry Leadership Training just happen to begin the same week that my husband leaves for missions work. Hmmm. Funny how God works that way. My mission may be much different than my husband's, but no less important. Just closer to home and closer to heart.

Sometimes, I think most people have the wrong perspective of missions work. Sure, there's a great big world out there with great big needs, but if you narrow it down....look to the neighbor on your right and the neighbor on your left, I can almost guarantee that one of them is in need. Most likely both of them are in need of kind. My mission remains unclear, but the fog is lifting occasionally. Yes, Lord, I know I have work here to be done.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pre-Departure, Trip 4 - Haiti Mission - Coach Jesus

"And in the end, when God takes off the blindfold, you will find yourself in a place in life you never imagined you would be. You may have thought all that time you were hurting, burning in pain, lonely, or feeling your life was wasted, was never wasted a bit. God knew all along that you would win that race and then He could use you in an entirely new astonishing way you never dreamed of." ~Lisa Copen, Founder, www.restministries.com

The past 7 weeks have been wonderful having my husband home on leave from his mission. There have been times of adjustment and disagreement, but overall lovely. However, 4 of those 7 weeks I have been sick in one form or another. Between RA and fibromyalgia flares, the stomach flu, or just a plain old head cold, I have been battling illness like a trooper. Previously during this mission, God has reminded me that he has set things up to happen a certain way for a certain reason. Granted, he won't always tell me when and why, but I have faith that there is a reason I have been struggling so much. I like to think that it's because in a few days I won't have anyone here to take care of me, and that's when it's time to suck it up and put on my big girl panties. Right now, Chris is somewhat available to care for me, so why not let him?

"Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become." ~2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (The Message)