A Collection of Left-Behind Treasures

Boxes packed for storage. Bags packed for an international move.

All that was left were goodbyes. A whole lot of them.

A friend to whom it was especially difficult to say goodbye had one request as we departed: leave me one thing to keep in my house to remember you by.

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I left her a vase with the world map on it I had bought at TJ Maxx for $7 a few years before. There wasn’t anything particularly special about it, like most everything else in our basement apartment. We hadn’t invested a lot of money into our home Stateside for we knew we would soon be leaving.

But this vase still sat atop the bookshelf my husband built because, for some reason, it meant something to me. And though it wouldn’t make the voyage to the foreign field, I couldn’t bear to sell it to a stranger. So I gave it to this friend.

She added it to her collection of momentos given by those that left her behind. The problem of being involved in a highly missional church is that the people you love are always leaving.

And her collection is always growing.

Trinkets from South Africa, Tunisia, Spain, and, even, TJ Maxx in Cumming, GA. I think of the ones to whom she will be saying goodbye this year and wonder what special items will be added to the mantle and the walls of the home she shares with her husband and the girls my daughter still speaks of fondly.

They are a special family with a collection of far-away-friends, left-behind adornments, and hearts breaking again and again.

I’m thankful we will have this special home to spend a few nights in when we find ourselves Stateside. I will look around at all the gifted treasures and pray for my friends around the world who have left their friends, families, and prized possessions behind.

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Five Minute Friday: The Wound that Never Heals

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I fractured my tail-bone four years ago during the hours of labor that led to the arrival of one of my greatest joys, a spunky girl who’s always singing but who was, at that time, just a sunny-side up miracle.

As my daughter grew, the pain in my back-side lessened, and I imagined that things back there were healing properly. However, strapped to a stretcher a little over a year later, the pain was back and more intense than ever. I had hurt that tender spot again.

One still-birth and one live-birth later, I’m in a mess of pain most days. We bump along the poorly-made and poorly-cared for streets of Kathmandu, and I wince and bite back the complaints on the tip of my tongue.

I often think, this wound will never heal, as it is constantly chipped at again and again.

As we bumped along on the way back to a hotel today to say good-bye to grandparents headed back to America after a sweet but short visit, my focus was more on the pain in my heart than on the bone that bounced upon the back-seat.

The wound there was big and gaping when we left for Nepal last March. Over-time, it began to heal and was bandaged by Face-time chats and care packages. But with each visit and each goodbye, cracks I thought were long-ago sealed re-emerge.

The TLC delivered is so needed and is medicine for motivation. My heart is certainly more helped than hurt, yet I am left with the somber presence of this thought, “I guess this wound will never heal.”

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And certainly it won’t for the Grandma and Grandpa with 6 grandbabies on 3 continents. I covet your prayers for these heroes of mine and the heavy hearts they are lugging back to America today.

Five Minute Friday: My Tiny Team


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We had a team. We had all our support raised, ready to join our friends in India who were working endlessly at getting a fledgling little church off the ground and headed towards independence.

They had gone before us and blazed the trail, learned the ropes, made all the mistakes they could keep us from making ourselves. I remember always joking that they were our test dummies, and I was glad we didn’t have to pioneer the field of New Delhi on our own.

There were some behind us, following the path of fundraising and raising awareness about the need of our field. They would join our team of two families and we would link arms with one heart to reach the country of India. God would work in our midst, and, together, we could see Him doing something there. We had all dreamed together for years. We were just dying to see those dreams manifest in reality on the other side of the world.

417911_10201205177995317_119377220_nBut months trickled by, and as the pages turned on the calendar, we realized what we feared had come to fruition. We weren’t getting entrance into the country we longed to live and minister in.

We were devastated. We found it hard not to question God as he crumpled up our plans and crafted something entirely different. It still looked like a torn apart mess to us, but we trusted it would unfold into a legible, beautiful story one day. We were honored to be a part of it.

But…he sent us somewhere without a team. No one we had any ties to resided in this new (to us) country, Nepal. Not a single family was behind us, aiming to join our side a year or two later.

It was so difficult to say goodbye to the dream of a team and embrace this new role as pioneers for our board. We’ve been so blessed to meet some wonderful new friends here, and truly, we are working together to reach this country with the gospel.

But I miss our team. We had a Bible-inspired name and sweet little babies to grow up together.

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Our team may only have 4 members, but they’re it. My tribe. My co-laborers. I know God will use this tiny team if we stop pining for more members and move forward alone, yet praying that God will add some bodies to the bench.

My kids don’t have ministry experience or much fundraising to speak of, but I believe they are an essential part to this team, and I know God will use Team Taube as we work together here for His glory.

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Who’s on your team? How can we work together to reach the world?
Talk to me in the comment section below!

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With Lifted Eyes and Lifted Hands: A Prayer for Harvest

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Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest (John 4:35).

I’m lifting up my eyes, I’m seeing the fields.

But I don’t see a lot of said white. Lord, give me your eyes.

Because what I see…

I see Hindus bowing to golden idols created by skilled craftsman.

I see Muslims faithfully answering the call to prayer.

I see Buddhists running fast fingers along brown beads, lisping secret prayers.

I see broken people torn apart by the sins of their own hands, and, some by the hands of others.

I don’t see hope. I don’t see harvest.

Give me your eyes. Let me see it.

I’ve gone. I’m here. I’m ready to harvest. The reaping day seems afar off, but I trust it’s here as You have said it is.

I’m lifting my eyes. Lord, make them like yours.

I’m lifting my hands, Oh, God, put them to work. Let me harvest something, anything, for You and I’ll be sure to give you all the praise for letting me see the ripe fruit, gather it, and give it back to You.”

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And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together (John 4:36).

Rejoice with me!
Tell me about the harvest on the horizon or the harvest at hand in the comment section below!

Five Minute Friday: HAPPY

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We are not public dancers, the Taubes. But we enjoy a little living room dancing every now and then to get the wiggles and giggles out of my little ones. For a couple years, my daughter has preferred the song, “Happy” from the Minions movie to get the jiving juices flowing.

She was happy (and not just because of all.the.presents).

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Happy.

That’s all anyone would have described baby Jo as, and that’s all she ever really was. Unless you robbed her of her fruit snacks, of course.

When we came to Nepal, the sad side emerged more and more. It was quiet and didn’t demand much attention most of the time. It was moody and morose but occasionally erupted in red-faced scream fests.

I figured she was a little bored at home and that the threes were just plain harder than twos which I had heard to be true. By four, I was, honestly, just grasping for anything to help bring the happy back.

I enrolled her in a nearby pre-school. I thought she might be sad to leave the house or scared to get on the bus with kids she didn’t know and who didn’t speak her language.

I was wrong.

She hopped on the bus like it was Grandma’s car with the car seat loaded up and cup-holders full of goldfish crackers.

She played, and sang, and danced and chatted her little English-speaking mouth to death. She came home and crashed on the couch each day. She was exhausted. And happy.

And mom was happy to have her joyful Jo and a house full of laughter again.

Sometimes the hardest decisions we make end up making us the most happy.

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A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones (Prov. 17:22).

What are hard decisions you’ve made that lead to your or your family’s happiness?
I would love to hear from you in the comment section below!

This post is part of Five Minute Friday link up hosted by Kate Motaung. I am enjoying being a part of this writing community and putting together these little posts and getting to know these wonderful people! Join the fun next Thursday night on Twitter!