Stewardship of Speaking

Five Minute Friday: SPEAK


“You speak our language?” they ask in amazement. “I do,” I respond as humbly as I can despite how proud I am of myself and thankful I am to finally live in this reality.

And with this hard-fought-for ability comes a great responsibility. My words in any language have always had weight as I have spoken with believers and unbelievers alike. There is always an opportunity to speak truth and love, but there is equal opportunity to spew condescension or judgment. With all my heart, I hope to steward these opportunities wisely for the glory of God.

Such conversations often move quickly to the whys of our living here and what we are hoping to do. Question after question rolls out in my direction in effort to know more about me, but what I  really desire the person on the other end of the conversation to know about is JESUS. On the days I am feeling confident and not overly bogged down by the previous events of the day, I try to steer in that direction. I wish I did this each and every time because the result is generally sweet, something certainly to be savored. Occasionally, my sudden shift to spiritual things is not welcomed, and I sense this in sharp vocal tones and stiff body language. I thank God for the opportunity to speak of Him and trust Him to multiply the fraction of truth I have presented and build upon the fragile foundation I have created in simple words spoken in foreign tongue.


Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Ephesians 6:19-20

That Time I Forgot about My #1 Goal in Life

I’ve got the Monday mom feels.

Daddy’s working late nights. My menu is half-planned and, what I’ve got written is certainly subject to change. I have a stubborn potty trainer and his sister who got her hair cut yesterday and wants her bangs “this way” (perfectly flat against her forehead). If I have to tell her to stop touching her hair one more time, you might find me with a crazed look in my eyes and my husband’s trimmer in my hands.


My guy works at the church, spending time with fellas he is training in ministry. In my mind, anyway, I think he is having a blast. And I’m just here watching who knows what number episode of Peppa Pig of the day while pretending to eat a plastic chicken drumstick for my son’s amusement. I’m not sitting here because my to-do list isn’t long enough to demand I do something useful; I just don’t know where to start. Running errands, lugging my 40 pound “baby” around the city in the summer heat doesn’t sound like a peaceful way to spend the day. Text hubby to say I might not make it to the market. I hope this pretend lunch will stick with me ’til dinner time.

Another day passes, and I’m left wondering, “What did I even do today?” I get dinner on my table for my family and the visiting interns. I’m happy to see my husband knee deep in his dreams of ministry, but I wonder if and when my time will come. It’s hard to glimpse the dream and grasp my place in it in the monotony of day to day life. I’ll pick up some materials for Sunday school this week and plan a lesson in my second language. If the stars align, I’ll have lunch with a friend. I’ll see the bottom of the laundry basket for a brief moment and wonder if this will be my greatest accomplishment this week. I sigh, disappointed and unfulfilled.

Then I remember the goal.


But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ (Philippians 3;7-8).

I wrote this 3 years ago on Women Behind the Scenes, so I guess you could say I’m still learning…

Not only am I to make Christ my end goal, but I am also to make all other goals, aspirations, desires, and all things of absolutely no importance to me in comparison to the best prize. The end goal of every day of my life and every decision that I make should reflect a heart that desires only one thing, the ultimate reward-the One who paid it all for me.

Keeping the goal in mind, I see God here, working in the mommy moments and there in the office with my husband and his tribe. I pray God is glorified and that our ministry be not hindered by my selfishness. Looking inward at my unhealthy desires and unmet needs keeps me from looking upward. Looking outward at all the things I need or that need to be done keeps me from looking upward. Looking upward keeps me from losing heart as I remember the goal.

Jesus is my reward for an undone to-do list and a heart given over to Him.


Simple Truths with Lasting Impact

Five Minute Friday: TRUTH

I am really going against everything inside of me and writing a Five Minute Friday post on a Monday. Such is my life at the moment, it seems. Nothing happening quite on schedule, but I am coming to grips with this new norm. Deep breaths…

The Bible is truth.
God is holy.
There’s no one like Him.
Jesus was the only perfect man.

At the beginning of our church planting work, we are teaching simple truths in simple language. Rather, I am mostly listening and learning right along with new believers, some returning to the faith, and others who are still seeking as my husband does all the studying and teaching. I have so enjoyed hearing the truth of God’s Word in very basic, digestible forms. This man of mine truly is brilliant at breaking down the stories included in the pages of the Old Book and making them relevant to this time in this culture that is still new and unusual to us.

Nothing is necessarily ground breaking or world changing in and of itself, or at least, it wouldn’t seem to be. BUT things are changing. Slowly, hearts are softening. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. This is the evidence of truth touching hearts and changing minds that had long been made up towards another end. I get to watch this. I get to be involved in it! But mostly, I just stand back.


Momming Makes me a Better Minister of the Gospel

Five Minute Friday: MOM

I’m a wife. I’m a missionary. I’m an expat. I’m a language learner. I’m a home maker and round-the-clock short order cook. I’m a friend, sister, daughter managing long term relationships. Sometimes, I’m a writer, but I haven’t done much of that work lately. I play many roles and wear lots of hats. I juggle too many things and try to excel at all of them. But there’s one job, one role that seems to supersede the rest: MOM.

It’s certainly the most demanding. The work entailed by these other job titles ebbs and flows. Some days, that work doesn’t get done, and not much changes. But from the moment my eyes open to the time I FINALLY crash into bed, I do the work of “mom.” Mom gets juice and kisses boo-boos and doles out discipline when necessary. Mom helps with homework, ties shoes, and answers calls from the bottom of the stairs where a toddler is too tired to climb. There are days when I want to call in sick or take a mental health day but moms are not afforded that luxury.

Compared to some of my other duties, sometimes “momming” feels like lesser work. Potty training is certainly less glamorous than being at the forefront of a gospel revival. There’s a reason these things don’t get covered in our monthly prayer letter. But this calling, which sometimes appears to be a distraction from the greater work, is part of this great work. It’s the part that refines me the most. It’s the part that points out the dark places where sin resides and controls, morphing my best intentions into resentment embodied in half-hearted helpings of cereal for dinner. In both the mundane and mentally taxing moments of motherhood, Jesus teaches me about Himself. The more I know about Him, the more I can share of His goodness in my home and out and about.

IF we ever make it out.

Taxi Cab Confessions: What is Easter, anyway?

I sat in the backseat of a taxi with my two small children this past week in route to the Fun Park to run them out in hopes that they would succumb to the afternoon nap and I could, consequently, have a few sweet minutes of peace to myself. That plan only succeeded in the case of one child. He’s the one who keeps me either chasing him or cleaning up his messes all day, so I was thrilled, but the one who stayed awake so sweetly asked me to exercise with her. She is a total slave driver, so my dreams of sipping coffee and reading crashed somewhere between cardio boot camp 1 and 2.

Back to the taxi. Sweating as I attempted to keep my squirmy worms on their bottoms with hands off all that does not belong to them, I attempted to keep up my end of the conversation with our courier. He asked the general questions. “Where are you from? What are you doing here? What do you do for work?” as well as the other less common but still frequent, “Why do you like Nepal? Do you not like to live in America?” In other words, “What’s wrong with you?” I love this because it’s a wide open door for me to share the gospel. “Well, I’m glad you asked because my husband is a preacher! He teaches the Bible. Do you know what the Bible is?”

Bumping along the roads of Kathmandu, this conversation, though incessantly interrupted, carried on. I found out he lived in the area of our church plant, and I invited him to come to our Easter service where we would be talking about Jesus’ death and resurrection. I’m not sure why I was shocked that He had never heard of Easter. It is not a holiday that is widely celebrated here. You don’t even see Easter eggs or bunnies no matter how hard you look (unless you count the bunnies at the pet shop my children make me stop to see EVERY DAY).

This is the reality of many around the world. Not a hardened heart to the gospel message (though that is the case for many and most) but a total ignorance of the message of the Cross. And not a blissful ignorance, either. There is an innate sense of our wrongness. No matter how much we are taught the message that man is inherently good or capable of doing great things, ultimately we know that there is sin and darkness inside and something needs to be done about it. So we work and do good the best we know how, but that sense doesn’t go away. It keeps us up at night. It keeps us restless, searching for a peace to replace the hopelessness that comes with the reality of our total inability to remedy our despicable state.

He told me that he is unhappy. That he does not like living in his home country and is disappointed in the current status of his place of dwelling and its inhabitants. He thought the answer might lie in the bustling streets of Delhi or the heaven he has heard of since his youth: America (oh, and by the way, could I help him get there?). I shared with him that I have traveled to many places and lived in a few. I’ve seen problems all over the world because every man is a sinner. I told him that America is a pretty terrible place, and though I love it as my home, I see its flaws in plain view. He didn’t believe me.

He didn’t come to church on Easter either. I hope he will come some day. I pray that his eyes and ears will be open to hear the truth that’s hard to face: he is the problem. I had to reckon with that a long time ago (and I am reminded of it at least daily). I pray that he will realize that though the specific sin that resides within is thirty-something years old, this standard sickness has been around since the beginning. But, praise God, the solution has been around even longer.

I’m not sure I’ll recognize him if he finds his way to darken the doors of our church. I only saw the back of his head and his curious brown eyes observing me in his rearview mirror. I wished him a happy new year (it’s 2074 here, you guys!) and did my best to keep a hold on both my kiddos as they bounded off to Zippy Playland with my dreams of a lazy afternoon still in tact.