Hello, my name is Thomas and I’ve just been smackdified!

  God is soooooo good!  Oh, where to begin. . . Since my last post we completed all the work we feel is necessary to do on the house, listed it in the newspaper, on craigslist and with a realtor. We spent two whole days washing, waxing, defogging lights and steam cleaning the inside of our car.  We sent out about a billion donation letters (ok, a little exaggeration but it felt like that many).  We have prayed.  And we have waited.  I’m sure there are points in everyone’s life when you have done all that you can possibly do and the only thing left is to wait.  I, personally, am a doer and we doers have an extremely hard time waiting. 

   Waiting time equals thinking time, and thinking time leaves room for doubt.  I have continued to pray and to put my trust in God, but sometimes the seeds of doubt find some fertile, out of the way crevice in my mind and attempt to take root.  I am sure the devils trying to sow those seeds every chance he gets.  “Your car might not sell, little Teresa . . .  And who really needs to rent your house when they could have any of the other hundreds that are for rent in your city. . . and just because you believe you are called to do mission work, doesn’t mean anyone else will feel that you are.  They might even all get together and decide to boycott your fundraising efforts just to prove how silly this idea of taking your entire family to do missions really is.”  I know some of these thoughts might sound kind of dumb, but they have definitely crept into my mind from time to time.  I say to myself, “But this is God’s will, so He WILL provide.”  Sometimes this pep-talk worked, sometimes not so much. 

  Well, yesterday, I feel, was a wake-up call.  After showing our car three different times in one day and all really considering it, we finally settled on the buyer.  The financial information was taken care of this morning, and they are going to be picking up the car on Friday!  Then I got home and checked my email and Family Missions Company informed us that we received our first few donations and we were completely blown away by these donors generosity!  I literally cried.  I was so happy, but at the same time felt  . . . something.  I can’t think of the word that best encompasses my feelings (though I’m sure there is one and I just can’t think of it) but the best way I can describe it is like this- like God smacked me across the back of my head in a jovial but reprimanding way and said, “I can’t believe you doubted Me.  ME!!!  What were you thinking.  Didn’t you know I would take care of you.”  I felt like good ole doubting Thomas who really needed to see first hand, not just be told, but really see God to believe. 

   I went to bed last night praising God for what He has done, thanked him for what He will do and said a prayer for the future renters of our house, because that was one loose end that still needed to be tied up.  Well, lo and behold, our realtor called today and said, “Can you be out of your house in 15 minutes, we have a gentleman who would like to look at your house.  He’s already in the neighborhood!”  Turns out it was a Mexican family with great references and they are putting down a deposit as I type this to rent our house!  I thought it fitting because it was in Mexico where we felt our calling, and a piece of our hearts is with those people still. 

  It’s just so exciting to see God work.  In just two days God has rented our house, sold our car, and sent us benefactors.  God is doing it all!  All we can do is wait on the Lord and thank Him for all that he does.  It is truly amazing to see His hand at work.  Lord I believe, thank you for helping my unbelief!!!!

 

Blogging is the diary of today (only anyone can read it) by Teresa

I know what your thinking . . . I just wrote a post yesterday.  I bet it’s pretty surprising that I actually have two posts in as many days:-) . . . but I thought an explanations was in order.  I wanted to explain why we decided to start this blog.  I could write to everyone about how great this missionary journey is (and truthfully it has been a blessing in so many ways) and never mention the difficulties (which would be very easy to do) but would that fulfill my purpose for this blog?

I was asked by many to start a blog to document our lives as we become missionaries and I have many reasons as to why I was excited about the the idea.  I think that the least of those reasons is just to satisfy the curious minds as to what is going through our own, though even that played a part.  I do, most definitely, want everyone to know what we are up to;  especially those who have been praying for us and/or supporting us in other ways.  Your efforts have not been in vain:-)  We will work as hard as we can to be good stewards of the time and treasure you have provided  (one of my husband’s favorite Catholic mantra’s is “time, talent and treasure” and I used this terminology with him in mind- I love you sweetie!)

In addition to that,  I also felt that it would be a great idea because people who are interested in becoming missionaries could read about how we did it.  I know there are others who are interested in doing mission work as well (they have written to tell me so), but they just don’t think it is feasible in their current lives– and I am sure that for many, that is completely true–  but for the small percentage of those who are interested who actually could make this transition, I wanted to offer support and encouragement:  You’re not alone.  It can be done and if  you don’t believe it, just read our blog . . . 🙂  With those thoughts in mind, I also wanted to be honest about the trials that can exist so that they don’t get discouraged.  Of course there are trials and occasional anxiety.  But really, show me even one person who doesn’t get just a little nervous when starting a new job, even if it’s just to flip burgers at the local McDonald’s!

But over the course of the past few weeks, a new and even more compelling reason has developed in my mind.  I am excited to see what these humble beginnings bring.  One of my favorite Saint quotes is from St. Francis Assisi, “Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible!”  Everyday is just another step in what is possible.  It is possible for me to paint yet another room or baseboard or door.  It is possible to sell or donate more of our stuff.  It is possible to smile in the midst of the work and praise God as I clean the house once again for a potential renter that may or may not actually show.  Every moment is an opportunity to show God I love Him.  Every day I am presented with a billion ways to teach my children by example that God is greater than all these worldly cares.  I admit, I am by no means perfect at offering my every action to God, but I have been given AMPLE opportunities to work on it these past few weeks and days!  And maybe in the end, when I have stopped updating our blog for good, I will be able to look back at where I started and think . . .  St. Francis was SOOOOO right!

To God be the glory now and forever!  Amen!  Alleluia!  Glory!

Sayin’ you believe, and really believing are two totally different things! By Teresa

I know I have been remiss in my duties of updating on this blog, and to all those who noticed, I am sorry. I have contemplated many things I would like to say to everyone who may read this, but all my thoughts seem so jumbled. I want to tell everyone about how everyday is tedious and somewhat stressful balancing kids and getting our house in good shape just so others can enjoy the fruits of our labors. I want to talk about how this “becoming a missionary” is not easy and I do feel overwhelmed at times. I want to talk about life the way it really is, not the way I think I should present it. It has not been a bed of roses. It has been constant activity with little rest. It has been difficult to sleep without beds and eat without a table (I didn’t realize they would sell so quickly!) It stretches us in ways we have never been stretched. I know we have all said a billion times in our lives, “We just need to trust in the Lord and He will provide.” But now actually living with that reality, knowing that we CANNOT do this without Him — knowing that if our house doesn’t rent, if our car doesn’t sell, if we don’t find enough benefactors– we will be out on the streets in just a couple months time. Even typing that is a bit scary.

Jesus said, “all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23) and I spent weeks after returning from Mexico praying the prayer, “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief.” while meditating on the story about Peter being called by Jesus to get out of his boat and walk on the water. Peter, of course, got out of the boat and started walking, but then he stopped focusing on Jesus, noticed the wind and was afraid, and started to sink. Jesus grabbed him and reprimanded him saying, “You of little faith, why did you doubt me?” (Mt. 14 22-33) I, for the first time in my life know exactly what Peter was thinking. When I am praying and focusing my day on Jesus, there is no doubt whatsoever that God will provide. The moment I start to notice all the difficulties we still have to tackle, forgetting that God is here with us, nervousness and anxiety starts to set in. So there is but one solution- TO KEEP MY EYES FIXED ON JESUS!!!!!!!!

Our fabulous pastor here at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Macon, Fr. Michael Kavanaugh gave such a wonderful homily this morning. I felt like he wrote it just for us. The gist of it was to persevere. God never said life would be easy but we must persevere because the work we will do is worth any inconveniences we endure. God will provide everything we need. I am actually getting used to sleeping with just a comforter under my body. Our family gets to have “picnics” for every meal! We are going to bring His love to people all over the world! What an amazing calling. Thank you God for this opportunity! Jesus I trust in You. Jesus I trust in You. Jesus, I trust in You!