From the box of “Teresa’s Treasures” – Missionary All-Star Cards!

I was at my parent’s house for a day and a half this past weekend.  It was a wonderful weekend – the little man got to meet the cows (who will no longer be there the next time he visits…bring on the steaks!) – he loved them and thought it was cool to have them lick his hands.  He was delighted by my brother’s dogs (guess we may have to visit more often since there will be NO dogs taking up residence in this house).  He loved chasing the cat all over…seriously…he crawled after that thing and ran if we held his hands.

We were out for a walk on the new rail trail in town when suddenly I remembered Samantha – my American Girl doll.  I had been wanting to get her from my parent’s attic, but kept forgetting…I remembered!  So mom hauled down a box with the label “Teresa’s Treasures.”

It was mostly filled with Samantha and other American Girl things – like my club membership folder, magazines, trading cards, charm bracelet, extra outfits for Samantha and the like.  There was also a porcelain doll and some Polly Pockets and then THESE:

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Most of you probably have NO CLUE what these are.

MISSIONARY ALL STAR TRADING CARDS circa 1992.

I had forgotten all about these – I have all of them.  At least numbers 1-64…I don’t know if they went any higher.  They were all in order too.

The Assemblies of God – BGMC (Boys and Girls Missionary Crusade…(now Challenge)) printed these during the days that trading cards were super cool – and they were given to kids in Sunday School, Children’s Church/other kids programs.

Did I mention that missionaries were my heroes growing up?

It would be interesting to see how many of those 64 are still on the mission field since the average age of the missionaries on those cards in 1992 was likely over 55.  My guess is not too many of them since that would put a lot of them in their upper 70’s.  I suppose that they couldn’t put the recently appointed missionaries on the cards since they wouldn’t yet be “All-Stars.”

Too bad they didn’t print rookie cards 😉

However I do know at least one missionary couple that is still out there…the Exley’s – their card is on the top there!  They are the pastors of CFC in Argentina – the church I went to when I spent a couple months working with another missionary via the MAPs program.  The card next to theirs are the parents of the missionaries that I worked with.

I think it is pretty cool that I was able to see the impact first-hand that these missionaries that I read about and prayed for had and are having.

Does anyone else out there remember/still have the Missionary All-Star cards?

The wonders He has done

Psalm 78:4,6-7 “We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power and the wonders he has done…so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.  Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.”

I want my son to know the wonders that God has done.  I need my son to know the wonders that God has done.

The rest of the Psalm goes back and forth telling of God’s great wonders toward His people, their rebellion, His wrath, His mercy, their turning back.  These aren’t just minor wonders either – they are major things: he divided the sea and led them through, he split rocks in the desert to give water, etc.

I need to let my son know what God has done.  Oh he will know what God has done through Jesus.  He will know the gospel.  But he needs to hear stories of God’s faithfulness and greatness in my life from the small to the big.  Things like:

– Sparing my life…when I almost died of carbon monoxide poisoning…in Argentina

– Providing the right doctor to deliver him when homebirth plans went south due to his stubborn breech position

– Providing just enough financial support for me to stay on staff with InterVarsity the past five years

– Sparing my dad’s life when he was run over by a farm tractor

– Sparing my father-in-law’s life when he experienced a heart attack while skiing…when in to the hospital much later (something like a day and a half)…and proceeded to have quad bypass surgery

– Providing for my hubby and I when he graduated in the year with the worst unemployment stats our generation has seen and it took him two years to find an engineering job

– Allowing us the privilege of purchasing a home that we love close to recreational opportunities

– Giving us AMAZING families that we are blessed to be a part of

– Allowing us to connect with and serve in a FANTASTIC church with a church family that has blessed us in so many tangible and intangible ways.

I could keep going on listing different ways God has displayed his greatness in our lives.  Not only does my son need to hear the stories behind these, but I need to remember what God has done…that I would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

I have a suspicion that the call to tell the next generation is as much for us as it is for them.  What are the wonders God has done in your life?

Walking with God isn’t so easy sometimes.  You see, God likes to teach me and grow me and stretch me, and to be quite frank, sometimes I get sick of being stretched and grown!  Its times like right now where I think God should lay off on the dependency lesson, because I just don’t like it!  It has been a frustrating and stressful couple weeks.  Some days more so than others.  Some days I am better at trusting God than others.  Yesterday was not one of them – well, I guess half the day was, but not so much the other half! 

You see, Dan went in for a second interview at a job a week and a half ago, on a Tuesday. What he was told in the job interview gave him every indication that he would be getting a job offer by the end of the week.  They even told him to watch his email inbox on Friday for a job offer.  Friday came with a lot of anticipation and excitement, and then went with disappointment as he didn’t hear from them.  He called them and on the next Tuesday he received a call from them – he was told they were still working on bids, that they interviewed two more people with more experience than he has, (though he was told in the interview that they were going to hire a minimum of three people), and that they would let him know by Friday.  Well, yesterday came and went and still no word. 

I really can’t emotionally handle this scenario again.  Last year a company lead him on for six weeks, telling him to call back each week until finally he stopped calling.  Part of me is upset at God, after the good interview why did he let me get my hopes up, and start looking around the area at apartments, thinking about living over there, living by my family again?  Why did he let my parents get their hopes up of having their daughter closer to them again?  Why did he make it look like everything was working out perfectly?  Why can’t it just work out  nice and easy for once?  Why stress me out even more?  I was angry at God. 

Logically and rationally I know that I can depend on God, he is faithful and trustworthy and I know that he has the best plans for us.  Maybe he has a job lined up for Dan that we don’t know about that will be year round full time instead of seasonal full-time?  Maybe he still will get this job (though I have my doubts now, and I think I’d be upset at him for letting us hang this long!).  Whatever his plans are I know they are good, but it is hard to trust that sometimes.  Especially since I told my boss at the fitness center that it looks like we might be moving – so my hours have dropped…I’ve been taken off some things, I haven’t taken on any new clients.  In the midst of that, we still have bills to pay, I was making enough to cover them before, now not so much.  With my reduced hours at the fitness center, I don’t think that I can.  InterVarsity for next year is this big unknown as well – I would like to continue working for InterVarsity – but we don’t know where (and if) Dan is going to get a job, if he gets a job outside this area I would have to interview with the AD in the other area, etc.  It’s not only that I would like answers soon, I may as well NEED answers soon.  On top of that, our lease is up at the end of April – we can go month to month on our lease, but it will cost us something like $100 extra per month – $100 that if I can barely cover our bills now, we are just not going to have.  So I wait and trust.

Part of me thinks – just trust, whatever, it will work out.  Then the other part of me freaks out.  You would think the Lord would help me retain some sanity and just give us some answers!  My InterVarsity supervisor tells me that God must love me a lot to be growing me so much this year.  Well, he can stop loving me for a little bit right now! Haha!  And if he doesn’t want to give Dan a job for my sake, at least do it for his!  He is so much more productive when he has a job, routine and structure.  A job provides purpose and drive, without it…let’s just say its not always pretty.  I want him to get a job for his sake. (The reduction in my stress levels would only be a bonus!)

On a similar note – it is exhausting looking for and applying for jobs…I spent three or so hours last night (just a drop in the bucket I know) looking for jobs for Dan – and then it took us an hour and a half to fill out one application.  They had some fun questions, but seriously?!?

I know other people have had to trust and depend on God in bigger ways, there situations have been more dire (for lack of a better word) than mine (I still have work!!), and God has provided.  He has a proven track record, over and over again, not only in the lives of others, but in mine as well.  However, that doesn’t always make it easy to trust him!  But I do…I trust, depend and wait on him.  He’ll come through, he always does.

I’m not sure how many times I have sat down to write – and have had nothing in particular to write about…so I don’t.  It seems the only times I think of something “interesting” to write are the times I am away from my computer or too busy to even think about sitting down to share my thoughts, but I am determined to write something! 

Saturday I ate chocolate for the first time since March!  We were finally able to go skiing – at last it stayed cold enough for the resorts to make enough snow for us to ski on since we haven’t had any significant snow around Detroit yet this season!  It was a perfect day for skiing!  Dan and I can’t wait until our trip out to Crested Butte coming up in a few weeks   Speaking of Dan – he is in the middle of his LAST exam right now!  We are definitely excited for him to be done with school, now we are just praying for a job.  If anyone knows of any entry level civil engineering positions open in Michigan let me know! 

If we can’t find any jobs in Michigan my vote is Colorado – what could be better.  They have amazing skiing, awesome hiking, a plethora of places to rock climb outdoors, great places to run…its the outdoor and adventure junkies slice of heaven on earth!  The only downfall – neither of us would have family out there since pretty much all our family is in Michigan (minus a few people).  And hey – if we go as far as Colorado why not just hike all the way down to South America – Western Argentina where we can go skiing in the Andes Mountains there and in Chile…hiking and backpacking and everything else.  I can dream I guess, right?  

It’s been a time of trusting Jesus that is for sure!  I like to know what is up ahead and the reality is, I have no idea what the next couple months are going to hold.  I have no idea where Dan will get a job (if he finds a job in the next couple month) and where it is going to take us.  It is a bit stressful at times, especially when I have people wondering if I am going to be around, what our plans are now, etc.  I like to have the answer, and I don’t.  It frustrates me to no end sometimes, but I know that God has our future in his hands and we have to simply trust him.  Even when it feels like we are walking in the dark and have no idea where we are headed.  I guess that is the beauty of it, we are forced to listen for His voice and direction, because if we try to figure it out on our own it usually takes us someplace we don’t want to be.  It is a constant reminder to be in intimate connection and relationship with Jesus so we know his voice and can recognize when He is leading.

Huge Praise Report!!!

Okay everyone…I have a huge, ginormous praise report!!!

A lot of you know that my luggage was lost coming back from Argentina in July and I filed a claim with Delta for $1600…well, I just got off the phone with my mom and Delta sent me a letter stating that they have declared my luggage un-recoverable and officially lost and within ten to fifteen days they will be issuing me a check for $1600.  God is so good.  I was a little hesitant as to whether or not I’d receive the full amount I filed for because I was reading their policies and such and it says for most international flights they will only reimburse you up to $600 something…domestic flights up to $3000.  A lady on the phone told me the three grand, but I was still hesitant because it said right in the fine print the other…I just prayed that God would honor my honesty in my claim, not trying to pad it up to three grand and that I would get the full amount I filed for. 

You have to understand to that this is coming at a time of a little bit of financial difficulty since I just emptied my checking account because of repairs I had to get done on my car (not to mention the fact that I had just bought a three hundred dollar mountain bike the day it quit on me…I figured it was something I really wanted and I could afford to, until my car quit and I put a grand into it)  So…God is amazing good, and does watch and guard over His children.  He provides for ALL your needs as long as you trust in Him.  Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Teresa