we have been having one whopper of a summer. probably why i haven't been at home blogging about it.
most of what we did in the months of june and july can be summed up in these 3 videos:
now, ryan and everyone at the bible school are doing intense renovation work at the bible school and i will be going the second half of this week to prepare their meals.
in the meantime, we are helping plan a youth retreat and the big italy-wide church retreat that will be here in florence the last week of august.
i can't believe that we are wrapping up our time here in italy for now.
we fly home the first week of september.
the goodbyes are awful.
this summer in our bible study we've been looking at the work of the holy spirit and what that means for our lives. for "plans". for priorities. for time. it will look very different; from how we're living now and from a lot of stuff around us (if we're doing it right). even as i type that it doesn't sound right because if we're doing it right it will just be that we have surrendered completely and only the spirit is seen, we will be only a conduit. it's really nothing we will do at all.
it's also not something i sprinkle into my comfy life. it turns everything i know upside down. it makes me incredibly uncomfortable.
i have to admit, i'm scared.
i'm scared about coming back to a life that is so comfortable. i'm scared that people around me will expect me to be the same person i was. i'm scared that people won't like the person i've become or the way i choose to spend my time. i'm scared that i will once again worry about money or worldly possessions and think they they have any significance in my life. i'm scared that the spirit will lead us to do something we don't want to do. honestly, i am. i'm scared that all those things will keep me from doing anything.
but at the same time, i feel free. i know that for the spirit to show itself through me the way it is intended to, all i have to do is give up. give up everything i have and think i know or think i have control of. give up every day by asking god to put me in the situations he wants me to be in and taking the first step when he puts me there. i want the spirit to do things so crazy that people can't help but praise god because they know that i could never have done those things alone. like paul. like elijah with those prophets of baal. i want to walk in the spirit every minute of every day for the rest of my life.
i kind of hate the title/word missionary because it implies that they are doing something other than what the other followers of jesus are/should be doing. it makes a dichotomy out of living like jesus. it makes talking about him an option.
everyone of us who love and believe that he is the only way to life should be living like him, giving up our supposed control and asking the spirit to lead our lives. then when he does and he whispers in your ear to pick up those hitchhikers, we've got to do it, and intentionally. and we've got to treat our spouses right. and we've got to take care of those who can't take care of themselves. we've got to see the big picture. we've got to witness in our families. we've got to stop sectioning off our lives or saying we "need time for ourselves". we've got to understand that we are smaller than a pinpoint on the infinitesimal canvas of life that god is painting. but if we give our lives to the spirit he can make it something beautiful that makes sense in god's story. and and we've got to stop asking questions or wondering if it's smart to live this recklessly. satan will always be there comforting us with feelings that "the rational way is the right way" when we ignore those "crazy" callings of the spirit. life is too short. i won't do it.
i thank god that he sent us his spirit and that our lives were meant for so much more than anything we can imagine. i'm thankful for the mystery of the spirit and the beauty of knowing it's so grand that i'm not even made to understand it. i'm thankful for the grace that saves me and the loving god who laughs at me when i fall on my face but is just glad i'm trying. i'm thankful for the unconditionally loving family that he gave me and for their support. i'm thankful for prayer even when i don't know what to ask for.
just let god's vastness and the fact that you can't understand him cause you to praise him. that's what i'm doing tonight.