Thursday, February 14, 2013

How do you know?

Last night, as we do every night, Shawn and I sat down with the kids and we all shared the best thing that happened to us during the day.  Then, just as every other night, we progressed onto prayers...but last night was different.  Instead of drawing sticks from the prayer pail to help the kids with ideas of who to pray for, we prayed over a box of shoes that Santa brought as requested by Addie Claire.  We prayed over a box of books that Leagan suggested her friends bring to her party last year in lieu of birthday gifts for her.  These special items are leaving for Uganda in a few days with our precious friend Dacia, and so we wanted to take time to ask God to bless the children who wear the shoes and read the books and prepare our hearts to meet these very children in just a few months!

After we prayed, Leagan and Addie Claire almost instantly and simultaneously expressed fear and doubt.

"How do you know God wants us to go?"
"I'm scared...that's a long way to fly on a plane."
"I got sick the last time I flew on a plane."
"Will there be spiders?"
"But what if we don't like the food there?"
"What if bugs crawl on us when we sleep?"

God immediately filled my mouth with scripture, "I did not give you a spirit of fear" and I went on to explain their doubt is coming from satan.  He doesn't want us to go and be used by God.  He would rather we doubt and fear ourselves right out of the trip...he would like nothing more than just that.  He is master of holding us back...only if we ALLOW him to.

Again, "But how do you know God wants us to go?".  These questions from my babies always cause pause.  Not because I don't have the answer necessarily, because in this case I do...I just want them to feel as confident as I do in the way that God speaks to us.  I want Him to speak to them through scripture and through prayer.  I want them to see for themselves His love and how He cares about these very feelings they are having.

The only way I could respond was, "I know because of scriptures God has led me to, I know because of Dacia and her prayers, I know because of my own prayers and the peace that God is giving me."  They seemed ok with the answer, and then Addie Claire began talking through a stream of tears that almost interrupted her speech.

"I am scared that we will make them feel bad because we have nice clothes and nice shoes and we have a family."  Oh that Addie Claire.  Her heart is as good as gold and she is THE most caring and intuitive child I have ever known.  She keeps me on my toes and on my knees because I have to be at the top of my Christian walk in order to answer her questions and lead her.  Sometimes, often times...she is the teacher in my journey.  She, in her carefree way, keeps me grounded.  She doesn't always come home with the highest scores on state mandated tests, she consistently needs to be encouraged to focus, she lives among chaos in her room and is content there, she is happiest when singing at the top of her lungs, her mind wanders and her heart lingers with those who are hurting and in need of Christ.  (now I am wiping away my own stream of tears)

After I cried with her and reassured her that we were going to do our best to be sensitive to their feelings and not wear our fancy clothes, the kids went off to bed.  It was at that moment that I remembered we had forgotten part of our nightly time together...reading the daily devotional in Jesus Calling for kids. I opened the page and this was waiting for me...waiting from even a time before I was born, before even the book was written.  God knew.  He showed up.  So I was once again overcome with tears, this time of joy, as I read...

There it was...God speaking to them!  Just as I so desired and wanted.  It wasn't me quoting scripture or sharing what I had found through was HIM speaking to THEM!  Now...the funny thing is, I didn't realize until after I had read the days devotional that I was actually reading for the 14th and not the 13th, but God knew I would look on this very page and so that is where His love for my kids was written...for them to hear on this very day, to calm their fears and remind them that He loves them and is in control of their destiny.  He not only wants us to be in Uganda, but he will be holding our hands!  My heart is so full, not only because He has spoken yet again into my life...but because He has shown up in a very obvious way for me as a parent and for my babies. I. LOVE. HIM.

This morning, as I sat quietly in prayer asking God only for what He has for me today...nothing more, nothing less...I opened my bible.  Psalm 91...again the very God that wakes the sun each morning and ushers in every season, the very God that shuts mouths of lions and raised the lame to walk again, the very God that hung on a cross clothed in MY sin and defeated death by rising 3 days later...He has shown love again with another reminder that He is protecting my family and I have every confidence that we will arrive safely in Uganda and return home unscathed but with a heart that is crushed, broken and rearranged in a beautiful and magnificent way that only the Father of the Fatherless could orchestrate.

I can't wait to show the girls when they get home from school!

 Further down in the scripture, in verses 11& 12 His words say, "For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.  They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.".  Even that far away on a plane in a place where we might not like the food and bugs may crawl on us.  He is there, He loves us, and He is protecting THIS road.  

How do I know?  Because the bible tells me so. Thank you Jesus.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


God's timing is always perfect, and always on time.  I know this, and was reminded of it a week or so ago.

We sponsor four children in Uganda.  $35 for one child, every month, pays for their clothing, food, education and housing.  It is probably just about the best way we have spent $35 in all of our lives!  Just after Christmas, we had received letters from the kids in Uganda as well as copies of their report cards.  I was in a rush when I opened the mail, sat it aside on the counter top... but fully planned to return to it later that day.  That never happened.  In a strange turn of events, I actually forgot about them altogether for a few weeks.  This is SO not like me, I LOVE things like this and I love the implications such mail always has on my life.  Nevertheless...they were forgotten.  Important little morsel...and I will return to the letters in a bit.

A couple of weeks ago, we had Addie Claire and Leagan's rooms repainted.  Leagan's room was very elaborate and VERY difficult to cover up.  Addie Claire's was very tranquil, just light pink.  (Odd, because if their personalities were reflected in their wall paint, they would've had to swap rooms!)

As awesome as this room was, and I LOVED the scriptures so bold in her room, Leagan was ready for a change.  Shawn and I both discussed and agreed upon simply painting their rooms a neutral color to where it wasn't such a big deal when they decided they wanted to change bedding.  We would decorate the walls with pictures, framed art...something other than having the decor PAINTED onto their walls.  Both of the girls were wanting their walls painted a color with possibly designs, but we have been very convicted lately of our spending habits as well as what our kids are learning about money through us.  So...neutral it would be.

Funny...although I told them their rooms were just going to be painted a neutral color, they still came home thinking that they would find the walls to their fortress covered with something other than a bland color of paint.  They were both visibly disappointed, even though they knew in their spirits that was a selfish reaction...and so they were able to conceal almost all of the setback their great anticipation of colorful beauty was suffering. my convictions of being good stewards of our money and raising children who are appreciative of what God has provided.  Their reaction and my convictions SO did not mesh.  My heart was wounded, and I (being me) didn't hide my disappointment well.   I think something like this spewed from my mouth, "if you have _______ in your piggy bank then you are welcome to paint the walls any way you'd like!  It cost _____ much to have the last paint job covered...COVERED. (those beautiful scriptures and elaborate zebra stripes were not covered with just a swipe of paint, and the black frame for the mirror... that was CAULKED on... did some damage to the sheetrock that had to be fixed. sigh.)  Otherwise, I suggest you be thankful that you no longer have the zebra and polka dots that clash with your new bedding!"  

After my vomiting of emotions, I sat down to read the letters for the sweet kids in Uganda.  The girls were both sitting on the couch in the living room with me, because as the good Lord would have it...the paint in their rooms was still drying.  So, they wanted me to read them aloud...and they were beautiful.  Even though the English was broken, their hearts were pure and it didn't take long for tears to stream. Sweet Esther wrote,  "Am also glad to get a pen and a book to write for you this letter appreciating you for what you have provided for me...".  Esther...the name itself draws an undeniable parallel to the biblical woman who was used by God to save the Jews from the despicable plans of Haman. Orphans.  Both our Esther and the Esther of the bible were orphans.  And just as Esther was used by God in a mighty way, half a world away...God has used another Esther in a life altering moment for the Wilsons.

As we set there crying, what a beautiful moment it was.  I knew immediately why God had saved those letters for this perfect time.  While my babies are worried about the silly paint in their rooms, this precious soul is appreciative that she has a pen and a book to be able to write to us.  Perspective.  Not only was I so thankful for God's timing, but how incredible that He has shown up in such a mighty way to help me parent and teach my kids His ways.  I am praying that God helps me to convey to Esther just how important her letter was to my family, the impact it had, and the way that she was used by a mighty God who is a father to the fatherless.

Thank you Jesus that you can still use an orphan named Esther.  Thank you Jesus that you love my family enough to allow us to know Esther.  Thank you Jesus for helping me to parent my gifts in your ways.  Thank you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wrecked or Totaled?

So, I'll have to admit that I was a bit anxious about sharing Dacia's vision of a family visiting Uganda for Christmas with Shawn, even though I knew that she might as well have said, "my vision is that the Wilson family come to Uganda for Christmas".  Even better, God might as well have interjected in a booming voice..."I'm sending the Wilsons".  Anxious or not, I was excited at the possibility of God using our family this way.  Shawn's response?  Glad you asked.

"That will be all we do for Christmas then".  Really?  Like REALLY?  You aren't going to come up with a millions reasons why you can't leave your business for that long because if you aren't there it isn't making money?  (I will have to interject that he did insist that he will be packing heat, so God still has a number to do on him as far as Divine safety in following THIS road.)

So there you have it...just like that.  THIS road is leading to Uganda...but I am certain that THIS road will not end in Uganda.  We asked the kids last week to pray with us about this opportunity because we want to be sure that we are sure this is God's plan for us and we want the kids to be a part of praying for THIS road.  Shawn said something very profound that night.  

"We are going to minister to them, but I have a feeling we will be the ones ministered to."  

Wrecked.  That's what I am thinking.  Not ministered to, but smooth wrecked and as Dacia put it, the wreckage will be beautiful!

There are so many scriptures and conversations that have confirmed THIS road, and maybe I will share some of them later, but I will leave you with where God has led me to again today.  You will not be surprised if you've read my last post.  I really need to buy marshmallows because this fire is not going out and I have a feeling that the tent will stay pitched a while!

Again, with great anticipation and praying God would show me what He has for me THIS day my bible falls open to Isaiah 6...shocking, I know.  I read, and then followed the same procedure that I am SO fond of.  

2 Samuel 7: 18-21...David is praying after Nathan shares his vision the God gave to him which includes the plans that God has for David and his descendants.  The entire chapter is about God's covenant promise to David.
Specifically in verses 18-21 David is praying who am I and what is my family that you have brought me to this place in life?  But that's nothing to what's coming, for you've also spoken of my family far into the future and given me a glimpse.  What can I say?  You know me, just as I am.  You've done all of this not because of who I am but because of who you are...and you've let me in on it.  Now, obviously the context of this scripture is referring to the lineage of Christ...but it was also confirmation through God's whispers once again.  He is using my family, regardless of who we are and the messes we make of our lives, not because of us...but because of who HE is.  And when I read "and have made them known to your servant", the tears welled.  God could do ANYTHING He wants, with our without us...but He has graciously allowed us to be a part...He's let us in on it.  Wow.  Just wow.  I am humbled, overwhelmed, but most of all excited and feeling the love.

My third turn with scripture today, as if I needed anything else, was nothing other than Luke 5.  Today, however, the exact verses were 27-32.  While it included Christ asking who needs a doctor, the sick or the healthy...something else grabbed me.  "Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector's booth. 'Follow me and be my disciple', Jesus said to him.  So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him." (27-28)  

"Left everything".  What does this mean?  What is God saying to me?  What are His intentions with my family?  Surely He is not calling us to leave everything!  That only happened in scripture, many many years ago, right?  My heart and spirit is burdened...why did those two words stand out?  I'm wondering if wrecked was a strong enough word...maybe totaled would have been more appropriate.

And still my prayer is, "God wreck me.  This world is about so much more than what we see.  Break my heart for what breaks yours and carry my feet there. Prepare us Lord for THIS road and where you are leading and supply us with your peace as we journey.  Guard our hearts Lord, and protect us from the enemy as we anticipate his full on attacks in an attempt to thwart your plans.  You are bigger, you are stronger.  Keep our eyes focused on you Lord.  Amen"  

Monday, February 4, 2013


I guess I have known for a while, on some level, that THIS road was on our map of travels.  While I would like to blame it on Dacia, I know even SHE is not good enough to take over God's plans for us and is only an instrument that He is using.  (A very beautiful instrument I might add!)  Her blog can be found at 

THIS road...what in the world does that mean you ask? Is it a physical location you can find on a map? I am not really sure, but I know it looks different than the roads we have been down.  Although I am not sure where it will lead and what the end will look like, I am sure of this...I am about to be wrecked.  How do I know?  Because I have prayed for exactly that.  Silly me.

One of my favorite times during the day is my quiet time with God.  I go to Him through prayer and scripture with GREAT anticipation of what He will show to me.  I record each day the scriptures that He leads me to, as well as what He speaks to me through the scriptures and through my time of being silent before Him and listening for His whispers. While I can look back over the past few years and see the beginnings of THIS road, it has never been more apparent  than in the past couple of months.  

"Then I heard the Lord asking, 'Whom shall I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?'  I said, 'Here I am.  Send me.' "  Isaiah 6: 8  

The Wreck begins. 
(or at least this is where I am becoming aware of the skid!)

Now, I can't say that on January 10th when God had me camp in Isaiah 6 that I understood why.  I remember texting Shawn and asking him about a song that was written based on these verses.  It is wonderful imagery of mighty seraphim covering their faces in God's presence, singing "holy, holy, holy" with voices that shake the Temple to it's foundation.  Isaiah begins to "freak out" not only because he has seen the King, but because he is a sinful man with filthy lips and filthy companions.  One of the seraphim, which literally means "burning ones" touches Isaiah's lips with coal and tells him his guilt is removed and his sins are forgiven.  Then the Lord asks who will go for him, and Isaiah responds that he will and asks the Lord to send him.  Hmmm...nice little story.

In the days to come my campsite would be in Luke 5, primarily in verses 31-32.  "Jesus answered them, 'Healthy people don't need a doctor--sick people do.  I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent."  When I say campsite, I mean build a fire and pitch a tent because you are staying there.  I shared with Shawn that I feel like God is wanting to use me outside of the church.  Let me interject here...I LOVE volunteering in my church and believe strongly that without volunteers Sunday worship would be difficult.  I mean, who would keep our kids among many other things?!?! There is definitely a need and a place for volunteers and I cannot see myself not involved in some area of my church!  I have directed preschool, coordinated childrens events, cleaned, prepared, taught...and I love it all.  I should have known this was coming, though.  I have not had clarity from God as to where I am to serve right now.  (If there is one thing you should know, in case this is your first interaction with me...I will pray beyond pray through decisions so that I know that I know that I KNOW I am doing what God wants me to do.)  Currently serving as a greeter, I know there are needs in other areas I would have previously jumped into...but this time I have been held back, divinely.  It has frustrated me a bit, and there have been a couple of times I've almost surrendered to a post only to feel the Holy Spirit's reigns pulling me back. 

 And so I continued to seek God, and was beginning to hear His voice with clarity. (I cannot explain to you how much I love this!)  I need you outside of your church.  I need you for the sick and the unchurched.  I need you to be involved with people who cannot or will not darken the doors of your church.  There were other scriptures that followed, and with each one His voice became louder.  Then, Isaiah 6:8 returns. 

In the meantime, I was lunching with sweet Dacia.  Her furlow from Uganda is quickly coming to an end and between birthdays and Santa my girls have collected books and shoes for the kiddos there.  The first lunch we had, Dacia shared her vision of a family coming to Uganda to share Christmas with the orphans.  

The Wreck will be continued soon...