faith, ministry, prayer

A time of love…

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Our church has a HUGE missions’ conference every year here in Budapest.  Around one thousand people come from all over the world to hear about the missions work we have going on around the globe, to learn from amazing messages, and to be built up in fellowship with friends that live far away.

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This year was a bit different for me at the conference because I had a tiny human attached to me for the entire time…Different and hard but wonderfully awesome.

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This year’s theme was “A Time of Love”…and even though I think I only took away one little phrase from the messages (listening to speakers with a tiny human attached is NO SMALL FEAT), the topic has left me pondering…thinking…mulling over in my heart…love.

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A time of love?

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This new phase of life…motherhood…is in so many ways A MAJOR time of love for me.

Snuggles.

Hugs that are so tight and accompanied but a “UGH!” grunt.

Wet kisses that often involve teeth and even bites.

Mushy shared food pieces from grubby hands to my lips.

Smiles and laughter.

Tickle spots.

Clapping for a job well done.

One more goodbye kiss from Daddy in the morning just to see our girl light up with smiles followed by just one more…then just one more.

Watching my girl cause elderly people to light up on public transport…at times it’s like this little girl can discern when someone needs a kind look or even touch (we are working on NOT touching strangers, rubbing their backs, or playing with their hair) and she does it…she turns frowns upside down where ever she is.

Reading the I Love You book for the 700th time.

Having my girl safely all tucked into my Mobi wrap for a day out on the town.

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Motherhood is SOOOO AWESOME AMAZING WONDERFUL and please understand that it is something I have only dreamed of living for A LONG TIME and I am SUPER THANKFUL to be Agnes’ mom…but that horrible little 3 letter word motherhood can also be…

lonely.

thankless.

dirty.

exhausting.

anxiety filled.

and NOT feel like a time of love.

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All those yucky words above said, God has been so gentle with me in this new season that I’m in and I am seeing His time of love for me more and more each day.  When left unattended with one’s self and daily duties like laundry and dishes and a sick child for several hours a day we I can become pitiful and introspective and feel very unloved…I can begin to wonder if others really even care at all…then I get sweet little emails from a new friend I have made just checking in on Agnes and I, inviting us to lunch again even when we haven’t been able to make it for a few weeks…then my friend comes over for dinner and games and brings my sweet girl yet another gift (truly this friend is a gift)…then we finally get to spend time with a close married couple and the four of us barely get to talk cause our kids are fussing, but it’s so nice to all be together and to be parents!

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Lately God has been tenderly reminding me that the best way to feel built up and loved is to share love and to serve others.  Over the course of the almost five years FIVE YEARS?!?! How can it be? that we have been here in Budapest there have been many transitions and changes with the school we came here to serve in and along with the changes have come challenges.  Currently it seems like our team is bit down and disjointed…maybe, dare I say, even feeling a little unloved.  It has been a hard and disheartening season for many of us, but we have been pressing on and trying to stay in God’s plan for us…in some ways these harder seasons cause us to press in to Him and that is good for us, but I think it is also time now for us to press out…we need a time of love…we have hurting people that need their hurts bound up and loved on.

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An encouraging note.

A hug.

A “how are you doing?”.

A piece of bread when you are hungry.

A helping hand.

There are so many ways to show love tangibly…so many ways to encourage others…so many ways to pour out.  I find that I am healthiest and most built up when I am serving others (I am the weird girl who likes to be in the kitchen doing the dishes at a party)…but I have to admit that this element in my life gets lost at times…it has been less and less in this current season I am in.

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A friend from grade school just wrote a fantastic blog post about motherhood and it was so relatable, it really built me up and encouraged me (much like I pray my posts encourage others too).  Motherhood is a life of servitude in many ways…children demand a lot out of their mamas (and that is all part of God’s design)…and mamas and feel like they don’t have anything left to give outwardly after their working day is through (who am I kidding moms work 24/7)…but God’s grace!  God’s grace washes over me and fills me with ability to serve in little areas I least expect…and I need this healthy service and love for others in my life even when especially when I am a tired, trying her best, mama.

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In the beginning of this post I shared about the conference theme “A Time of Love” stirring me up, causing me to ponder…and I must admit I pondered selfishly at first, where is this love? who cares about me? who is going to reach out to me, I’m home with Agnes all the time feeling unloved….

But God!

God whispered gently to me “who can you love?”

He said to me “how can you love others?”

He gently led me to people in need.

He reminded me of all the love my daughter needs from me (DUH!!!! Greatest time of love EVER).

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Because of tiny human attached at all times, hearing messages at church has become a HUGE challenge!  Like I am lucky if I hear the offering joke before I am exiled heading off to the mother’s room to watch all the other moms struggle to get a nugget of truth from the message we are watching on the tiny tv while children are running around being children.  It has me discouraged at times about not getting enough out of church and about even attending at all…a friend and fellow new parent shared a verse with me from Isaiah about God gently leading those who have young ones.  He told me in this season he is now beginning to understand that verse better.  God is gentle with us, He knows that we are parenting our hearts out, and He is gentle with us in this time…in this time of love.

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I know this post has been long-winded and even a bit scattered remember new mom brain here but my heart is full and her naps aren’t long enough.  Really though, the Lord has immensely put love on my heart…He is directing me to pour out in any way that I can…He is showing me little ways I can show others kindness and love and be an encouragement (I hope this blog is one)…I hope this time of love He is leading me into is fruitful for His kingdom…I pray He uses me.

Just watching Agnes and her way with people LITERALLY EVERYWHERE WE GO is so convicting to her little old mama, me.  She selflessly gives kindness and love to all sorts of people from many different walks of life, from the smelly homeless man to make-up and pearls wearing old lady, to the children sitting at the next table at McDonald’s, to the “too cool for school teenager”.  I am so proud of her and what a darling little girl she is becoming…I want to be more like her and pour out love on all I come in contact with.

Would you pray with us, for us, in this time of love?  Would you lift up our team here that we are serving with?  Would you be inspired to show someone kindness today?  Let’s learn to love each other more and love each other well and build one another up in the faith!

 

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