I know, such a long time has passed since I wrote a real nice long "Jessica-style" update! I'm gonna try and give it a shot without the absence of too many "fun" details!
So, here it is!
There's never a dull moment around here in Honduras-to say the least! Life always keeps you on your feet!!! A good motto comes to mind recently...but a bit more than usual, because now I've had to put it to the test:
"When life offers you lemons then ...make lemon aid!"
Yes. I am a firm believer now--this is the best way to live life! From
getting eaten alive by mosquitos or having a monstrous moth
about the size of your head, (well, that might be stretchin' it a 'lil'!)
maybe more like the size of your hand "opened, try to attack while taking a
shower with a sharp, cold breeze blowin' at the same time, I'd say it's
kinda like "lemons" ..wouldn't you? Or having a baby snake slither by for
a visit (in the living room to be exact)...right at mid-day without an
invitation! Yup. That would probably be considered *another* lemon! Or what
about having your kitchen plagued by neighborhood cats, or "worse"
...taquasins!!! (Opossums in English). They are so polite too...they never
forget to leave us a nice gift...usually a trash-mess or half eaten food
trails for you to clean up (bright & early in the morn) before work. And
then I can't leave out the regular, boring pests like spiders, June bugs,
moths, flies of all sorts, no-see-ums that love to bite, ants ...oh yes!
And I can't forget..dreaded scorpions!!! But even with all these "lemons",
I've been learning good life-lessons! For instance, every time I come across
a scorpion I take it as an opportunity to "thank" God (literally) that I
didn't find it anywhere on my body!! And through my contact with all the
other pests I mentioned earlier, I've been learning the valuable lesson of
endurance and to never take for granted a pest-free home!!! Or a bug-free,
Now those pests already make quite the set of lemons! But wait, there's
another set! The microbes...*yuck*!That's right! microbes, amebas, protozoa,
parasites..etc! I've learned to NEVER take for granted having a good
digestive system with plenty of "valiant" fighting antibodies! But, when the
microbe (or whatever other microscopic creature, I've forgotten to mention)
wins the battle, then that's when the lemons come in with full
force! But even with these kinds you can, (believe it or not)
still learn valuable, life-long lessons!
You can learn to be compassionate toward others who suffer...learning
endurance "again" takes place, appreciating the "true" blessing of a
pain-free body and a good digestive system! :)
Even though those may sound rough there's yet another lemon that I've been
becoming acquainted with! The adjustment to culture. In the culture here it
is very normal to show up with your whole family, during *any* time of the
day and especially during "meal time" (with out a notice or invite). There
are some things that we just don't realize about ourselves until we're put
in a situation that has the ability to stretch us (waaaay past our comfort
zone!) There's a saying I read the other day that really rings the message
I think it's what I am trying to get at too...
"Problems don't make you who you are. Problems only reveal who you are!"-Don Erbie"
Very, very, very, true!!!!
Without Jesus and His work in my heart ..I am nothing but a miserable,
selfish creature! My brethren, count it all JOY when ye fall into DIVERSE
temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But
let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and complete,
wanting NOTHING James 1:2
So, I thank God for all these lemons! Every single one of them! God gave me
the complete peace to come here, and I knew before I took that first step on
the plane, that He desired to do a good work in me. I did not know all that
it would entail but I'm so grateful to Him that He's been working on
answering my prayers...one at a time!!
..I can be Jesus' hands and feet where ever I go! As these trials have caused
me to look deeper in the chambers of my heart, they have also made me
realize how much grace I need to overcome and gain victory in my "natural
tendencies". So, I've also been learning the act of faith as well! In
the past, when I would notice a stirring of aggravation, irritation, or
frustration toward people or my circumstances then I would just go
about...grinning and bearing it! But now, God's shown me a more excellent
way! That He has the saving power to not only have us "grin and bear" but
soften, mold, and transform us into His image-Jesus Christ! After
approaching God in this more positive way, I have been experiencing true
heart changes! And I give Him all the glory for it because it wasn't me! I
know "all too well" how I am without Him.
Here's an example:
I started feeling a stirring of annoyance toward someone the other
day...then as I was crying out to God to forgive me for it and to help me
overcome, He did another thing instead. He reminded me that He answered a
prayer that I totally forgot about. The prayer and situation was very
similar but with a different person. Not
only can I just "bear" the person anymore, but I actually really like them
and even like hanging out with them! God is amazing!! The more I know Him
and get to learn His personality the more I'm convinced that He has ALL the
power to change and make us like Jesus...to cleanse, heal, and soften our
"mere human hearts"! "He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no
might he increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and
the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall
renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall
run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" Isaiah 40:29.
Well, I plan to be out here in Pena Blanca for the weekend. We just got in
last night around 11:30, managed to get one flat tire on the way--what a
surprise! And it worked out perfectly because there happened to be a large
truck stalled right across the road from where we pulled off. It worked out
great! God presented the perfect opportunity to jump the car and before we
knew it...we were off again! It was one of those "God things"...you
know...when He hits a flock of birds and with one stone they're
gone! So, today I get to take it easy ..while it's drizzlin' outside. The
mission house has a few visitors this weekend (including our wonderful Jr.
Troyer) so we have plans to all get together throughout the weekend and have
meals together and nice fellowship. Then, tomorrow evening we plan to head
out to San Pedro Sula to pick up my very dear, sweet, friend Rosa!! For her
to even be able to come was a direct answer to prayer! She's coming to take
Tash's place and keep me company while I have the rest of my time here. It
looked impossible at first, but God worked it all out! But this will still
be "bittersweet" for me because Tash is leaving even though Rosa is coming!
Tash my awesome friend, roommate, co-worker, and sister in Christ, will be
leaving me in 2 weeks!
:( It will be sad...yes! But I will never forget how thankful I am that God
put her in my life! Many of the things I shared earlier about the "lemons"
Tash has played a large part in living them out right by my side! And by seeing
it lived out in her, it has inspired me to live it out myself, for all I
meet, and for the sake of Him--the true lover of my soul! As I have seen the
example of Christ in her, I also desire to have...
*selflessness* take the place of selfishness,
*giving* take the place of getting,
*longsuffering* take the place of frustration,
a *huge smile* on my face take the place of an exhausted one,
*thankfulness* take the place of complaining,
*forgiveness* take the place of holding a grudge,
*a tender heart* take the place of a hard one,
*to suffer* for someone rather then have them suffer,
and to always *give *others the first and best "pick" and myself the last!
That is Tash's heart in a nutshell for ya! Now you see why I'll miss her so
Well, I was planning to write more but this (I'm afraid) has gotten plenty
loong! So, I'll just leave this for now, and hopefully I can finish the rest
of my series another time. ;)
Till then ..I miss you all TREMENDOUSLY!!!