Dirty, Old Shoes

One of the few downsides to living in a basement is the accumulation of moisture that sometimes occurs. Generally, this potential problem is easy to avoid or manage. However, after being gone for an entire month and leaving the apartment without light, air flow, or movement of any sort allowed for more than we would like to deal with.

Upon our 4 a.m. return after an all-night drive, we were greeted with the musty smell familiar to basement dwellers. We turned the lights on, only to find that many of our things had been overtaken with mold. We quickly grabbed Jo out of her bed where she had been resting for all of two minutes and got back on the road in search for a place to stay. We spent one night on church couches and the rest at the home of some wonderful missionary-friends of ours who graciously opened the home they rarely get to spend family time in!

The next several days were spent cleaning, doing laundry, and getting rid of the few things that were ruined. Some things, I deemed not worthy to be cleaned. I would say, “Those shoes aren’t that nice anyway. I’ll just pitch them!”

As I was looking for one of those pairs of shoes tonight while completing my outfit, I thought about how glad I am that the Lord didn’t treat me the way I treated that pair of shoes! I was a wicked sinner whose best was filthy rags, and He paid the ultimate price for my worthless soul as He spilled His life out on Calvary.

It wasn’t an easy win; my conversion was hard-earned, taking infinitely much more than the 5 minute scrubbing my slippers required. I was reconciled to a God that couldn’t look upon the filth of my sin through the selfless act of a perfect, spotless Lamb. I’m just so thankful He didn’t deem me unworthy to be saved, though I know that was the case. 

We are all dirty, old shoes, but He desires to purchase each of us and cleanse us with His precious blood and to keep us with Him forever in Heaven where we will be allowed to worship our gracious “shoe repairman” and lover of our souls for ever! 

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But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (I John 1:7)

I will never look at dirty, old shoes the same way again!

Still Yet Songs to Sing

My dad has often blessed me with his gift of poetry, but never more than He did with this which he wrote soon after the loss of our precious son, Ezra Coleman.

Sitting close in my truck beside me
My angel would sing her tune.
The joy that came from those little lips,
Was larger than sun or moon.
My princess there beside me,
My world was so complete.
The songs that flowed from her heart
The melody so sweet.

Adult-life brought some shadows
Temporarily throwing you off key
But I view your strength and faith
It is an awesome sight to me.
This mournful moment slammed you.
Others are silenced by such a thing
But I know my Precious Princess-
There are songs yet for you to sing.

The loss of your son wounds us all.
But no one more than you.
Though I trust in God- I often think,
I would have loved to hear his song, too.
And we will some day- I know it.
Beside him, we will bow
Singing praise to He who will open our eyes
To what He has allowed.
For then we will understand
And see that it was right
But it’s okay, you’re not weak
If tears haunt you at night.

So sit here close beside me
I want to hear your voice
No other spot under heaven-
No- beside you would be my choice.
Bellow both your joy and pain-
Just let your lovely tune ring.
And know, my Precious Princess,
There are still yet songs to sing.

I love you,
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Ordering a Headstone

After Ezra’s birth, we took some time to rest but have since hit the road and have been as busy as ever. It has been surprisingly easy to get back into our routine and live life as normally as possible. While there are still those moments where I ache for my little one, I have been busy enough to distract myself from the hole that remains in my heart.  However, one little detail, one little decision totally threw off that routine for me and has sent me back into the pit of emotions I found myself in the week following Ezra’s birth.

After putting off the decision for a few weeks, it was time to order a headstone. There is nothing at his gravesite to show he is there. Not even his name…I feel like somebody dropped the ball on that one! Thankfully, I know he is right next to sweet baby Wesley Tolson.

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Picking out the actual stone was not the hard part. That was easy because, well, there wasn’t much to pick from, and we had a few non-negotiable things that we were looking for. But when it came down to picking a “phrase of endearment” for Ezra’s headstone, I was at a loss. How do you honor a precious little life, acknowledge a deep sense of loss, and praise the Savior who got you through it all in four words or less? If you’ve ever read my blog you, of course, know that I am a wildly wordy woman! I can take the simplest sentence and stretch it into a vividly descriptive paragraph fit for a fantasy novel. So, naturally, this was difficult for me.

I put undue pressure on myself to come up with this perfect phrase, although my husband who knows me so well it scares me, reminded me that nothing we picked would be good enough for me. I was afraid he was right!

After much googling, debate, and discussion, as well as a tearful visit to our precious boy’s gravesite, Paul basically forced me to make a decision. In fact, he threatened to smack me if I came home from the cemetery without my mind made up. Of course, he was kidding!

I feared that I would feel like it was all over. This seemed like the last step and the last thing we would ever be able to do for our baby. I know, it’s kind of silly; he doesn’t know and doesn’t care. And as my sweet friend, Stephanie Cornwell reminded me during a particularly stressed-out moment, he is too busy worshipping at the feet of Jesus to care what his headstone says! I knew she was right, and thankfully, after the decision was made, I didn’t feel the way I feared I would at all. I felt as though I let out a big, satisfying sigh. 

It’s not over, but one of the hardest parts is.

The phrase we chose for our sweet baby’s grave is the phrase that my precious friend, Holly Pearson had engraved on the beautiful necklace she had made for me and gave me on the day of Ezra’s memorial: “May God Be Glorified.”

For these grieving parents, those four little words just say it all.

All Things Added

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).

At times, I have felt a little silly about how much I don’t know about India, the country to which our family feels lead. For months, we prayed that the Lord would send laborers to India to fill the great need for the gospel among its millions of inhabitants. I don’t think I ever really thought the family to be sent would be the Taube family. However, when it came down to make a decision and begin raising our support, it was a no-brainer. God had put India on our hearts, and it was there to stay! Here is an excerpt from my blog the morning after announcing our plans to begin deputation to reach the country of India:

Last night, during the teachers/workers meeting at Vision Baptist Church, my dear husband wrote me a little note. This is not an unusual occurrence in any given church service or meeting, but this was a very special note.

It read,”Pastor asked me if we wanted to announce that we are going to India tonight.”

replied, “Up to you, babe.”

“Are you 100% in?” Quite a weighty question for note-passing, wouldn’t you say?

After a shorter pause than I would have anticipated, I quickly scrawled, “YES!”

I have to be honest, at this point I knew little to nothing about this country to which we had dedicated our future. In fact, I just about Googled myself to death the night before our first meeting because I was nervous that someone would ask me a question I couldn’t answer and my cover would be blown. I had just about blindly surrendered to serve in a country I was totally clueless about, and I was a little embarrassed about it.

But I felt a peace I couldn’t begin to describe, and aside from the self-consciousness of my ignorance, I really didn’t care that I was so clueless. I had surrendered my life to Christ, and I had submitted myself to my husband. When I told God I would follow Him anywhere I meant it, and I told my husband the same! A few days ago, we returned from our survey trip to New Delhi. I am overwhelmed just thinking about how God answered many questions and provided peace for many concerns during the short time we were able to spend in the country.

Despite my ignorance I have found the promise in Matthew 6:33 to be absolutely true! I’m thankful for my husband’s wisdom as he lead me to seek God’s plan for our lives and trust Him to take care of our needs as we did.

It’s not perfect, of course, and it would have never been my first choice based on the few things I had heard about it in the States. Maybe it’s the comforting peace of knowing we are following the Lord in our lives or maybe it really is just because many things about India really “rock”, but I am feeling great about moving here in the near future! It could also be that the Roberts are doing an awesome job and making it look easy, but I guess we will find out soon enough and have a great example to follow when we do!

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Getting Used to India

Well, we have been in India since Tuesday night, June 11! It’s definitely been an interesting and eye-opening experience! I’m not shocked that things are different; I had prepared myself for that. But the reality  of actually seeing all of these things and being personally affected by them is a whole other story!

I’ve had time to adjust, and I’m realizing that, while it will be challenging, I can get used to all of these things. 

I can get used to having a “Revolving Door” as Autumn refers to hers.

I can get used to always being the passenger and never the driver.

I can get used to living in a heavily populated area.

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I can get used to only being able to call my family at certain times of the day and not just when I feel like chatting.

I can get used to wearing clothes that aren’t necessarily “my style” (learning to love it!).

I can get used to eating a mostly vegetarian diet that is heavy in spice (I already have! I love the food here!).

I can get used to extremes in weather: the heat, the humidity…even the monsoons.

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I can get used to people ALWAYS being around (maybe).

I can get used to the stares and unwarranted attention.

I can even get used to monkeys in the street (Varanasi).

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What I can’t get get used to, however, is that the masses of people I push my way through are nearly ALL lost. The majority have never even had a chance to hear the gospel I’ve grown up with. I pray that this will be the one thing I will never become accustomed to.

I can’t get comfortable living here and getting by on broken English without constantly being aware of the great need of the gospel in the country that will become my home. The reality of the void of the gospel in this country has to be the fire that fuels me to learn (language, culture, etc) and grow so that we may be able to plant churches, train leaders, and give God ample room to do an amazing work among the Indian people.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s going to be hard to return to the United States. Not that I just love the way of life here because I don’t (yet). It will be easy to return to my normal American way of life, but in just this short time, I’ve been challenged to want to be here. I want to learn the language (like YESTERDAY!) and culture, and I want to get started in the ministry as soon as possible. My last post was about how much I love deputation, and I do, but I’d like it to hurry up and be over so we can come back to India and get started on what we believe the Lord would have us to do! I’ll TRY to be patient…

I’m so thankful to have been given the opportunity to come on this trip and to see all that I have seen. Please pray with me that we, collectively as believers, would never get used to the need of the gospel around us. In the US, in India, or wherever the Lord takes us.