Saturday, December 20, 2008


Today I'd like to intrude you to two very special young ladies. One I have known for about ten years, the other I am looking forward to meeting next summer.

Christina, the girl on the left, was a student at Multnomah while I worked there as a Residence Director. Not only did I have the pleasure of having her as an RA one year, but she went on to be a Head RA the next. I had the opportunity to meet with her EVERY WEEK for two years. (What an amazing job eh?) During that time I got to watch her become a very strong, wise, and fun leader. She really has a gift for pouring into other young ladies . . . which led to the Lord taking her to work with high school girls in Slovenia with Josiah Venture. She has worked there for almost five years and right now is getting ready to come back to the States. (In fact, I get to hang out with her in just a couple of weeks!! I can't wait.)

Ok, so the second young lady in the photo is Naja (pronounced Nigh-uh). Naja is one of the Slovene high school girls who has been hanging out with Christina. When Matt and I get to Slovenia, Naja will be in the college group we will be starting. Like I said, I can't wait to meet her! It's amazing the connections that the Lord is putting together.

So, would you be willing to take a moment to pray for these two ladies?

- For Christina as she prepares to say goodbye to people that she loves and has invested in for 4 1/2 years, and also for her transition back to life in the States.

- And for Naja as she prepares to say goodbye to her friend and mentor, and also that the she will be able to rest in the fact that "the Lord will continue the good work He has begun in her."

Friday, December 19, 2008

Books . . . in English!

One thing I've (Sharon) really enjoyed since being back in the States is the opportunity to have access to so many books - in English! :-)

Here are some of the books I've read over the past few months. If you've read any of them, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobsen
Like I mentioned in my last post, I am on my second reading of this book since July. It has really given me a fresh view into what it means to walk in and rest in the Lord's unconditional love.

The Selfless Way of Christ

by Henri Nouwen
Of course you gotta love anything by Henri Nouwen. My favorite book by him is still In The Name of Jesus.

The Organic God
by Margaret Feinberg
To be honest, it's been a while since I read this book and I finished it just because I like closure :-) But I know of others who really enjoyed it.

The Shack
by William P. Young
Ahh. . . the book that has prompted so much discussion and even controversy! My two comments are: first, I loved it. And second I think it is important to remember that Young did not write this book to be a theological treatise. He wrote it to help his kids understand how he has processed through a lot of pain and mistakes in his life.

God's Blog
by Lanny Donoho
Another book that I read a while ago. Honestly this book didn't impress me too much.

What Your Childhood Memories Say About You
by Dr. Kevin Leman
A fascinating read!

Strengthsfinder 2.0
by Tom Rath
This book comes with a code you can enter online to take the Strengthsfinder test. But since I borrowed this book from my sister, no test for me. Still, I found myself resonating with about 7 or 8 of the strengths listed. Great read!

Christ-Centered Coaching by Jane Creswell
While I enjoyed reading this book, I have to say that I learned more about HOW to coach from taking Creswell's class at Western Seminary. This book seems more aimed at outlining the benefits of coaching. Still - it's always fun to read a book written by someone you respect and with whom you've had the opportunity to interact.

Scientific Progress Goes "Boink"

by Bill Watterson
Last but not least, everyone needs a little brain candy! :-) I like the way that Watterson makes his readers laugh while still provoking their thoughts.

I love how books can challenge and stimulate thinking! If you've come across any must-reads (especially ones that have come out in the last two years) I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's been easy for me lately to focus on the unknowns in my life:

- Will the construction business stay steady? (i.e. Will Matt have a job in January?)
- Will we be able to rent the house in Gresham come January? (again dependent on Matt's job)
- Will our baby come early? late?
- How should I best prepare when I don't have a room to prepare?
- Will we be able to raise the support we need to leave for Slovenia next summer?
- When is the next time after this year that I'll be able to spend Christmas with my family?

My list could go on . . . but that gives you a glimpse into some of my thoughts lately.

It's not so much that I need answers for each of the things going through my head. It's more a matter of learning to live with the questions, knowing that for most of them there is little I can do to prepare, and that the only thing my Heavenly Father desires of me is to NOT WORRY, but rather to trust him and rest in his leading and provision. Easier said than done, I know.

Here is an excerpt from a book I've been reading entitled He Loves Me. (I'm on my second time reading this book in the last couple of months - I highly recommend it!)

"He knows that you will only trust him to the degree that you are certain of his love for you. This is why he created you and why he designed such an extraordinary plan to teach you exactly how to lay aside your fears and walk into his arms. then he can scoop you up, hold you closely to himself, and fulfill what began in his heart for you since before the creation of the world.

This is the journey of a lifetime-to learn to trust him more and more everyday for the rest of our lives. The more we trust him, the more of his life we can experience. But don't try to do this on your own. You don't have it in you. He can take you by the hand and teach you just how much you are loved so that you no longer have to pursue your own way and protect yourself in the ways that only seem to backfire, hurting you and others around you."

So, I'm going to take a moment to reflect on the things I do know and am so thankful for:
- The Lord has provided a home for us since the end of June. Living with my sister Lynn has met so many of my unspoken needs.
- I get to spend this Christmas with family and friends.
- My pregnancy so far has been trouble free.
- The Lord has given me a wonderful husband who works hard and finds creative ways to love me and make me feel special.
- I have a Heavenly Father who desires a relationship that is based on the security of His love.