Two weeks ago Danny and I drove back home to the village. I was quiet in the car (which doesn’t happen too often) quietly pondering all the questions that lay ahead of us. They seemed like mountains that day as we drove mile after mile with sleeping babies in the backseat, boxes of supplies piled high for an unknown amount of time and lots of things stuffed into bags.
Two weeks later I now sit here at in Manila, bags packed, tickets have been bought, plans have been made, emails have been sent, a house has been packed up, goodbyes have been said and tomorrow we start our trip back home to the States for three months The biggest surprise of all (for me) is that I am really ready. Not only has the Lord given us a real peace that we need to go home now for Izzy’s surgery, He has also provided all that we need to go home and even prepared me to leave emotionally as well. My heart is prepared. I am not saying I am looking forward to an international flight with a two year old and a one year old, but I am looking forward to getting off that plane and hugging some very special people. I am glad that we have options to get Izzy the medical attention she needs to God willing be a more healthy little girl. I would do anything to save her from infection after infection.
Sometimes though the, “preparing of a heart” it happens in the strangest of ways. When we returned home to our house on the hill, there was no water in the taps. Not. A. Drop. The spring that has been our water source for 7 years had dried up. We are still not sure why or how it happened. So for the past two weeks we (Danny will love that I say we) have been hauling water up the hill in big buckets or bottles. Thankfully, a week or so ago it started to rain and we were able to catch rain water in big blue barrels behind our house. There was enough rain each day to get laundry done, wash dishes, take baths and flush the toilet. Some nights though it was a little lower than other days and I found myself thinking things like, “I don’t want to just throw out this water I have used to cook the pasta in so maybe I can pour it into another basin and use it to rinse off a dirty saucepan.” That is how weird it can get! Having no water in the house makes daily living a lot more work. All my romantic ideas of being home and baking cinnamon rolls with Izzy and cheesecakes for Father’s Day…..that was all gone in a matter of 2 days. My emotional ties slipped real fast as I thought of running water, a shower and even a hot one at that.
Those mountains of questions I was thinking of in the car driving home? I have seen again that faith, even the size of a grain of a mustard seed, can move those mountains because of the One in whom we place our faith.
One such mountain for me was a place to stay in the States. A place to stay that would hopefully be close to Danny’s family, a place we could afford, a place that would be available for just three months, available sooner rather than later…. and the more I thought of all our stipulations the more impossible it seemed. One night after trying to figure it all out, I realized once again, I can’t. With my heart bowed before the Lord I gave it all over to Him, every little bit and asked that He and He alone work it out for us. If it was God’s will for us to go home now for Izzy’s surgery He would supply a place for us to live. The next morning I was making coffee and checking facebook, when the message below stopped me dead in my tracks. A mountain crumbled. A heart broke. A seed bloomed.
Pip & Danny, Do you know when you will come to the USA (Paso) area? Gene and I will be gone from our home from June 15th until September 14th. If you remember we live two houses down from where your Grandmother Bonnie lived. We are sending a special request to our HOA board for you to still. If this would work for you, let us know. We love and pray for your family and all the stuff you have coming up in your lives. If our home would work for you we are pleased to offer it. Love Shirley
A house, no a home, available now, available for three months, close to family and in a lovely neighborhood that was familar to us. It was perfect and I cried. Tears of happiness and tears of just knowing so personally the care of Jesus in the sweetest and tenderest of ways. He knows our needs, long before we ever do. It wasn’t just a need of a place to lay our heads but a place where our souls can rest and our minds can be still, and God provided that for us. This dear couple are visiting family in another state for 3 months and they lovingly and generously offered their home to us while they are gone. It was amazing for me to read too in an email of how God had been orchestrating things at their end too; they wanted to leave a month or more ago but delayed plans and circumstances pushed their date back to June and now we all know why. God had a plan for us, and for them and He weaves the personal joys and hardships into all our lives through various threads, colors, textures and in it all He calls us to remember that He is the Source of all that is Life. He is to be sought and honored and adored above all else. He is a jealous God that wants our uttmost affection and attention, for He alone is worthy of it all.
Sometimes it is when we feel like our whole cage is being shaken that we experience the most freedom in our souls. Heart doors are flung open and we are given new opportunities to hold an open hand and let the comforts, the ideals, the plans, the routines fall away as we grab hold of the hand of God. It is as we walk with Him in this place, by faith, that we experience to new heights and depths the everlasting love of God. His care for us in the chaos causes our spirits to soar above the daily hum and we are ushered into His sanctuary with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. We rejoice to have been found wanting because in the asking we have received. We have been filled daily, just like those blue barrels at the back of our house, it was during the rainstorms when they were full to overflowing. This is how it is within my heart too; full to overflowing with the mercies of God.
I have thought many times this past week on the beautiful verses in Matthew chapter 6 v 26.
Those little birds, they don’t plant and harvest and store food up, and yet they are always taken care of. Living in the grace of each day by accepting the provisions of a wonderful Creator. They are not worried about the days ahead as they flit and fly from tree to tree, chirping and jumping from branch to branch. They are free. Free to receive.
So easily and quickly the temporal things of life can dominate our thoughts. As I follow the truth down to verse 33 my souls soaks up the simplicity and yet the depth of the Word of God. I read Matthew 6:33 and I am challenged and convicted once again of this deeper way to live. I long to be a seeker of the eternal and not a slave of the temporal. This is where I want my mind to make its domain, not tunneling into the worries of tomorrow but living right here under this truth. So much of our attention is taken up with the things that God so plainly said He would take care of! I am to seek after God and He will look after the rest. And when I am in this place of seeking it is here that I will find my rest. My spirit is lifted to new heights and I am no longer weary because my hope is in Him. I can run and not grow faint.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
We are so aware this week that we have daily received new seeds of grace from the Hand of our Father in Heaven. A harvest of provision has come in the form of; accomadation for three months, airplane tickets, car seats, baby cribs, rain water filling up barrels, willing men to teach a little church in the jungle and a quiet peace in our soul. I write it down here to remind myself in seasons to come of the many ways that God has shown His care for us. I hide them in my heart and pray these seeds may spring up in my life in the form of faith, hope, joy and peace.
Somedays we need the empty taps to be grateful for the rain. Everyday we need to be poured out and emptied of ourselves, so we can be filled with all that is Jesus.
Thank you from our hearts to each of you who have prayed for us as we have been preparing to return to the States. Please continue to pray for the little church in the village while we and our co workers are gone. We look forward to seeing what God will be going in the lives of the believers and the church as a while over the next months. Please pray especially for Romy, Joel and Norvhen as these three men will be responsible for the teaching in the church each week and twice a week at the outreach in the next village. We pray it is a time of great growth and that they will discover God to be ever faithful as they depend on Him for their every need.
Ready to fly,
Philippa for us all.
|We didn’t have a cheesecake but we still celebrated a very special “Papa-Daddy.”|
|And a first birthday for another very special “little man.”|
|He LOVED his first birthday cupcake. Went at it face first. 🙂|
|And I wanted a photo of the them holding the number 2 and 1 which of course didn’t work because they are 2 and 1!!|
|Last Sunday at church there were some serious discussions going on. Getting contact details?|
|Found this little treasure while packing. Me with my mum and dad. Always just the three of us. Always happy.|