When asking for signs, be ready to move

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Where am I in the Journey to Amor?

Well, on my knees.

Recently I’ve been thinking why is that I was given the instruction to join Amor? I think it’s because I asked: explicitly and boldly. “Where do you need me?”

Some people have come to me and commented that it’s pretty neat that I get to hear God’s voice so clearly. The truth is that it was not always like that. In fact in most of my life,  ( And I mean as a Christian, because I like to think that my life begun when I met Jesus), God had been pretty silent. Truth to be told I had also been pretty silent to Him.

Praying was not my strong suit. Only when things seemed completely out of my control, did I get on my knees and prayed, really prayed. What I mean is that although we regularly prayed at our home, specially during bedtimes. Those prayers usually came from the innocence of my children, we prayed for others, we gave thanks and perhaps ask for healing of a minor boo-boo or the sniffles.

However, when I was out of my comfort zone, I could do nothing else but to give it to God. And every time He responded. So I learned to pray; but also I learned to start moving with each response, and in these instances God has shown up in amazing ways.

Newbreak, our home church, is going through the book Draw the Circle in preparation to Easter. It’s been an amazing time of prayer and faith and it couldn’t come at a better time in my life. One of the things that struck me is that I should work hard as it depended on me, but pray like it depended on God. This means that with my work I show God that I have faith that He will respond. I move, He moves. For His glory.

But the most important aspect of this, is to pray. Many of the prayers that don’t get answered were never utter.

Some times we don’t pray, because it’s an act of faith. We would be hurt if our prayers would meet indifference. But trust me they don’t. Even when we don’t get the response we wanted, He is a Loving God and He is after something greater, for our good: working, mending, changing us, comforting us always. We just need to keep on praying.

Some times we don’t pray, because we “got it.” In which case, the only cure is to step out of our comfort zone. Start pursuing bold and brave dreams that God put there and trust me when you start stretching He’ll show on a big way.

Some times we don’t pray, because we were waiting for the sign and it didn’t come. Here I think more often than not, we received the sign, we quit on praying and forgot all about it, when the answer came later.

Some times we don’t pray, because what we need is so big and our view of God so small that we don’t trust Him.

Either way. Right now, I’m on my knees. I need Him, and trust Him.

My eleven year old son recently shared with me the most beautiful sentiment of faith. While watching Lark Rise to Candleford, a beautiful show about the life in the countryside of England at the turn of the 19th Century, he said he too had struggled with doubt like the character in the show.

When I asked him what he meant, he said he also had prayed for “a sign.”

He had been praying for guitar lessons since his previous teacher told us his schedule no longer worked for him. I didn’t try to get him a new teacher as I saw an opportunity to save some money in the meantime, because I have not been working since September.

My son says that he prayed knowing God would answer. But His answer took a couple of months. Now for a 11 year old boy that’s a very long time. Yet he kept on praying.

Two weeks ago, without knowledge of my son’s prayers, our church’s Youth Program began offering free music lessons to all kids.  That was all the answer he needed. He’s now learning worship music and enjoying his guitar once again.

I’m grateful he shared with me and it became an opportunity to share our insights about prayer. He told me about keeping a journal, like his leader suggested. “The shortest pencil, is longer than the longer memory,” he said. Which it happened to be what I had just read on that day, day 5 of Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle 40 day prayer challenge.

So, today I’m kneeling, moving through the prayer section of my journey for direction, provision, faith, rest, vision, heart change and Amor. Steadfast trust in God.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2

Let’s have a light Valentine’s Day

First of all I love, Love, everything that means and I have no problems expressing it, receiving it, giving it, and living it every day. Mushy or not, it’s my favorite verb, noun and adjective.

However, Valentine’s Day the day to celebrate love can be one of the most difficult days especially for the romantic challenged. My Beau, has a terrible score with Valentine’s. Yes, I do keep score in this sort of thing. It never fails; at the end of the day he’ll walk around feeling like once again he failed to do the big romantic gesture. He got caught up with work late, he didn’t find anything to get me (it’s tough when your girl hates most jewelry, red roses and cheap chocolate), or simply he forgot until someone got flowers at work.

So I wrote him a letter, about having a “light” Valentines day, maybe someone else can relate. And if you are feeling particularly “unloved” this day, or most of the time, maybe they are simply speaking a different language.

So before you come home I release you. I release you of the obligation of having to prove that today you love me more than any man has loved any other woman. For starters, I love you and that’s enough for me. To love you has been the best decision I’ve made in my life and I hope to keep loving you for the rest of my life.

And I thank you because I know I’m loved more than all the chocolate covered strawberries in the world could convey.

You loved me when you said, “I do” even though we had nothing going for us but our faith.

You loved me when you came back to me time and time again, no matter how far you traveled and how far you stray. 

You loved me when you took charge of this family like a man even when you were just a child.

You loved me when you held our son and told me we had everything.

You loved me when you forgave the unforgivable.

You loved me when you supported me to get a degree, go to D.C., stay home, get a job, quit said job, write, get a new job, start again, plant a garden… or not, go to Mexico, paint the kitchen blue, learn to draw… or not, put my feet up for a while, run a marathon… let’s start with a 10K, have another baby, and every other whim of my heart because you love and respect my heart.

But most of all, now I know you do have pretty extraordinary moments as a romantic; I only had to learn to read between the lines.

I now now:

 You love me because you don’t leave the house without giving me a kiss.

You love me because you let it go before I can.

You love me because you smile/laugh after everything I say. I’m glad I make you happy.

You love me because you get me tea at night.

You love me because you invite me for lunch or to clean the garage when you miss me during the day.

You love me because you want to read what I read.

You love me because you can’t go to sleep until I do.

You love me because you let me sleep in.

You love me because you work hard and want to share it with me.

You love me because you ask me to dance in the kitchen when we have rough days.

And I could go on and on, but I think you got it. I know you love me and it’s OK if for today if we just watch a romantic movie and the bottle of wine I got. We can celebrate our Love without anything exceptional, because what we got is pretty sweet

Can you have faith in the face of fear?

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29 Jesus said, “Come, Peter.”Then Peter left the boat and walked on the water to Jesus. 30 But while Peter was walking on the water, he saw the wind and the waves. He was afraid and began sinking into the water. He shouted, “Lord, save me!”31 Then Jesus caught Peter with his hand. He said, “Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:29-31

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

 It never fails; doubt and fear are a heavy burden that causes drowning.

It is no wonder fear has been a recent visitor in my life. See, I’m like Peter. Of course it’s easy to follow Jesus in land, but to follow Him in water?

I’ve told you my story about where I’m heading here.

However, at each step my legs wobble and my hands tremble. A couple times (more like a thousand) I’ve questioned how wise is for me to take this path. I’ve told myself that maybe I should’ve been looking for something to secure my family’s future. A career with greater compensation, big benefits or at least job security.

The truth is that fundraising has not been easy for me and didn’t expect it to be.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Perhaps I imagined that the whole situation would resolve itself, keeping me from the inconvenience of becoming “uncomfortable.” Don’t get me wrong I’m eager to start working with Amor and I’m convinced about my calling and their mission.

Yet, my life would have been easier if a big donor would have jumped in and offer to cover my salary for the entire year. Talk about miracles, right?

But I know growth only occurs when you get out of your comfort zone. God is after something else. He knows I’ll need more faith than ever before to carry out His message, to help His people and to stay strong for Him. It feels like a test, but I believe is rather the lesson.

Fundraising is only hard now because it is something I’ve never done. However, as I walk in this path, with each step my legs become sturdier and stronger, remembering what they’ve done and what they can do through Him.

When my faith sees itself tested. I draw strength from past experiences. One day this experience will too serve to show me that faithful work has its recompense. One day soon I hope, I’ll be telling you from the offices of Amor that all is well and you too should consider stepping out into the water and join us in a mission trip.

Today don’t fault me for doubting; these are my first steps out of the boat.

It is only fitting that I start my journey in February “mes del Amor”

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Many people struggle waiting for God’s response, but what happens when God tells you clearly to do something and you simply won’t move in the direction He wants you to go?

Up until five months ago I had a job in which I did very well within a company that reflected my values and where I was growing in many ways. I was in a career path that required many hours daily in the office and many more at home reading and researching. It left me drained and hungry (literally and figuratively), although curiously happy and satisfied like at the end of a long run.

However, God began pulling me away. When my husband started traveling for work, it became harder to juggle responsibilities at home along a demanding career. I prayed and God told me He had something else for me.  So I took a giant leap of faith and I quit a job that not only provided economically, but a job I enjoyed immensely.  It was one of the hardest choices I had to make.

That was in September of last year. Since then I struggled trying to figure out what was God’s plan for me. At times I thought it was for me to be home with my kids and rock the mom profession, we moms are fabulous after all. But, He kept stirring in me a new dream. I prayed for direction.

God’s answer came while running during a chilly November afternoon.  After several miles (more like two) the song of Casting Crowns “If We Are The Body” kept resounding in my head except that the lyrics kept saying if “we are the body, why aren’t his hands building?” as opposed to whatever it says (I’m famous for making up lyrics). I prayed for interpretation.

When I got home, while working on my resume I saw Amor ministries listed in volunteering experience. (I had been asked by a career expert to perhaps remove it because it was irrelevant to my skills and the jobs I wanted).

Although it has been a while since the last time I volunteered with Amor, I never forgot that weekend.

When you are a bad listener, God sometimes shouts.  Later that day as I was cleaning my inbox I found an old link to the Amor ministries employment page (apparently it was not the first time God had stirred me in that direction).

I was shocked to find that at the top of the page that Amor Ministries was seeking for a Social Media Specialist and my skill set, as set in my resume was a mirror image of the needs of the position.

So with blind faith I applied to the position and after several interviews I was welcomed to be part of the team at the beginning of this year.

However being that Amor is a non-profit, my salary is 100% dependent on fundraising and this is where I froze (remember I got the job in Jan). I have never successfully raised funds for anything in my life. In the past, it was a struggle to even get a couple of hundred dollars for a race against cancer and now I’m supposed to raise three months salary before I can start and then I will be dependent on the good will of friends and strangers for continued support. This is an even bigger step of faith than simply sending out a resume.

But I’m even more afraid of what will happen if I don’t move. It’s easy to pray for direction; it takes courage to take the path once you are given one.

Luckily I’m not alone in this, my family supports me, and only last night some of my friends just made me realized that I’m simply being asked to throw out the net. And more importantly God is with me.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

NIV John 21:6

If you want to join me in this new venture, let me know. You can make donations directly in the website under staff giving and please input my name in the comment section. https://www.amor.org/give/staff

All your donations are tax deductible.

If you want to read more about the work of Amor, please visit https://www.amor.org/about and subscribe to this blog as I continue my journey to Amor I will keep you posted about my first year in the ministry.