Wednesday, February 17, 2016

When it's more about trust...

I didn't start out on this little venture lightly.

I wrestled against it for awhile.

What if I failed?  What if people make mean comments?  What if I made people mad or they didn't like me anymore?

My mind went down all sorts of roads of failure.

But my heart kept coming back to where God was calling me.  Take that step.

Step out in faith.

And trust Me.

I've only posted about it one other time on here, but I recently took the step to become a Consultant with a skin care company, Rodan+Fields. I felt God's prompting to do this.  And to turn all proceeds back over to Him.

It sounded pretty adventurous, and kinda fun, blessing missionary friends monetarily when they were least expecting it.

And then the first paycheck came.

And those numbers looked real good sitting in my account.  But I made a commitment to not only those I sold to, but to God, and myself, that ALL of it was being given away.

That's when I realized that this giving was a whole lot bigger than being generous.

It was about trusting.

That first paycheck could have bought an entire month of groceries.

The second paycheck; a mortgage payment PLUS groceries.

But away it went.  The moment of panic, thinking of what was just given, gave way to relief.

It wasn't mine anyway.

I do not want to speak on these things to bring any glory back on me.  I truly feel that God is using Paul and I, and this mission of giving, to bring HIM glory.  To show that God is so much bigger than the piddly money we put in our bank accounts.

God is so much bigger than that thing that you think you cannot lose.  He wants us all to see and discover that true joy in living comes with palms held out in giving, not in grasping to the meager things we call ours.

I cannot deny that this is a struggle, a battle that we fight daily.  Every morning with the sunrise we learn all over again how this life is not ours to own. That when God calls us to give of ourselves, in whatever way that appears in our lives, that He is calling not only for generosity, but for trust.

Trusting that when we give up something of ourselves, He will be there to fill our need. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

January Lookback

It may be a few years before I can think of January without shuddering.

January 2014 has scarred me and at times I have emotions that come back to me, reminding me of that dark time.

But, thankfully, God redeems in the hard and while I shudder, I can also lift my hands in thankfulness, knowing God makes beauty our of messes.

January was a march of God showing up in little ways that spoke in BIG ways.

He showed up in the little gifts of an ordinary day.

A love note passed across church (gasp!)

Three Suvar children playing together without argument (double gasp!)

A celebration of 34 years

Another celebration of retirement after 40 years of devoted work.

A quick dance in the kitchen to our favorite love song.

Multiple dance parties in the living room.

Spending time up in the crow's nest while Paul plays sportscaster.

A field trip with Hannah and getting to see her spend time with her best friend.

Helping in Madline's class for her 100 day party.

Having one of our 'big kids' over for supper.

Getting one more chance to say goodbye to dear friends as they head overseas.

A snuggle from our resident snuggler, Madeline.

Grandpa reading to the granddaughters.

A 100% on a spelling test from our resident terrible speller, Hannah. 

A reminder that although most things that our resident Minecrafter Owen talks about is not of my interest, this is the time to sit and listen - to show that I am willing to listen in the easy, for someday will come the hard....

And now we have rolled into February.  There is still much of winter left, despite Phil not seeing his shadow earlier this week.

We didn't have much for snow days, much to teacher Paul's chagrin.  But we were thankful for the easily traveled roads and lower heating bills.

And this house is praying for a snow day....or two.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Refining Fire

A couple weeks back I posted this picture on Instagram with this comment:

"This right here is my refining fire. Practicing spelling with my second grader. Life is not all pretty pictures and upbeat Facebook posts. This brings out my ugly side every time. #spellingisnotherforte #prayingthroughthefire #dailythanks"

I used to be a patient person.  

And then I became a mother. 

And it seems of the 3, our middle is the one who shows me time and time again that I have such a long way to go.

I don't say this to demean her. I don't want her to read this some day and think I held anything against her for the fact that she is the one makes me practice my patience on a moment by moment basis.

I say this to show that God gives us exactly what we need.  Not always what we want, because that would be dangerous.  But exactly what is needed to refine us.

Sometimes the needs that are met are pleasant.   

And sometimes they make us come face to face with who we really are and we need to turn our hearts back to Him, and fall to our knees in sorrow over the mess we have made once again.

So, although I will be glad when summer break is here, and I won't have to do spelling lists week after week through gritted teeth, I realize it for the task that it is.

Learning spelling words for her.  A refinement of patience for me. 

Because the good Lord knows He is not finished with me yet!

Monday, February 1, 2016

To Madeline, the 6 year old

 2 months old

Well, it's finally here.  You are now 6.  You have been anticipating this day for quite awhile.  So excited to be able to use BOTH hands to count your age.

1 year old
You are so thrilled to be getting older, but yet you are hesitant.  Many times you mention how you just want to stay little and live with me.  Some days, lots of days, I'm perfectly fine with that.

2 years old

But I know God gave you to us to raise.  To one day walk away from our door, to share the gifts God has given you, with this world.  

It would be selfish of me to keep you to myself.

 3 years old

Your warm heart for all people.  You hardly know a stranger.  I find you conversing with people at the drinking fountain at the grocery store, talking to babies we pass on the street, and waving at every car that passes ours.

Your sense of humor.  Your dad and I have always been impressed with your humor.  One that seems to exceed your age by many years.  You keep us laughing...daily.

 4 years old

Your penchant for learning.  It's so fun to see how quickly you are catching on to reading.  You love science and all the experiments you are doing in school.

Your love for Jesus.  It's hard to put into words how my heart swells when I hear you pray for your missionary friends, for the persecuted church, for your friends at school.
So, today we celebrated you.  And that you are #5 in the Suvar Party of 5.

5 years old

You asked for spaghetti for supper and Angel Food cake for dessert.  You wanted to spend the evening playing a board game and having a dance party.

A simply wonderful way to celebrate a 6 year old.

Happy 6th year of life, Madeline!  
We are so glad you are a part of our family!