Thursday, September 4, 2014

Its been almost three years since I wrote anything here.  Absolutely nothing is the same.  Except Jesus.  And He knew the whole time.  There is nothing about my life that resembles the life I thought I'd have.  This isn't what I envisioned.  Its not what I longed for.  I dreamed of being a missionary, overseas, telling people the Gospel for the first time.  I dreamed of house churches that looked more like dinner parties.  And digging into the Bible with people for the first time.  I dreamed of raising my kids as missionary kids, and living this life that wasn't comfortable, but that revolved around Jesus.

That's not what our life is.  My husband became a teacher.  We live in the suburbs.  Our house has a three car garage and a fenced in back yard, four bedrooms, three point five baths.  I could say that God's plan was so much better than mine, but I don't.  Mostly because I don't want the 'better' to be translated as our perfect little comfortable American life.  It is.  But that's not what's 'better' about His plan.

I struggle here.  To find and live joy in this American dream life I'm living.  Because it wasn't my dream.  But it was 'better.'  It is 'better'.  The 'better' is being in the center of God's will.  I've found that there is so much more joy, immesurably more, in being in God's will.  If we were overseas missionaries I'd probably be happy.  But that's not joy.  God has been so affirming, over and over and over again.  This is where God has us.  And I have joy in that, in the knowing with my whole heart that I'm where God wants me.  The alternative might be 'my dream', it might seem like the great Christian thing to do, but if I was always wondering, uncertain if this was truly God's plan, that's not joy.

And do you know what?  Our lives still run towards Jesus.  He's here with us everyday.  In my parenting, in my friendships, in our interactions.  We do our best, I do my best, to point the people around me to Jesus.  I fail over and over again.  But He's still there.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


God brings people in and out of our life.  There are few people who we will share our entire life with - mostly these people are family.  or a few select group of friends.  But then, there are so many people who are only in our lives for seasons.  Long seasons.  And they make footprints that run so deep, years later their memory brings us to tears and pulls at our hearts.  They are no less important.  And just because the season is over - we still may have a connection with them.  Facebook.  Maybe a Christmas card.  But there time of being ever present in our life has passed.  Sometimes those are the people that pushed us the most.

I've been blessed throughout my life with women who loved me, mentored me, invested in my life and molded me into the person I am.  A few I had from eight to eighteen.  I had a few join that group from twelve to eighteen.  But then I went to college and my world changed.  Fewer during those years.  But so thankful for that person.  And thankful for flights to Phoenix for a fresh perspective and a few simple truths that sustain me for months.

Now I'm married and in this whole new world with new people.  I hope these people will last through several seasons.  But God moves us.  And the people don't always come with.  But they're still here.  And the footprints are still made on our lives.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November's Thankful

I love reading everyone's daily facebook updates on what they're thankful for - its such a great way to remind us of all our blessings, especially going into the Christmas season.  I've thought for a few days about joining in, but I just know that I'd forget days eventually.  So, my solution is, I'm going to list 30 days of Thankful here on my blog - all at once.  Maybe that means I'm cheating, but I'm still Thankful!

November 1 - Thankful for all the love we received from family and friends in Virginia.  Its so hard to leave them all!
November 2 - Thankful for a church that preaches the truth and strives to make a difference.
November 3 - Thankful for my loving husband who cleaned the house the other day without even being asked!
November 4 - Thankful for such encouraging coworkers.
November 5 - Thankful for God's answering of prayers, and the way He speaks to us!
November 6 - Thankful for all those facebook friends who pray for us at the drop of a hat when we need it.
November 7 - Thankful for our amazing small group.
November 8 - Thankful for each and every one of our supporters who has been so faithful in coming alongside our ministry.
November 9 - Thankful for the outpouring of prayers and support we've received from coworkers today.
November 10 - Thankful for a home that I love.  Even though a house is such a dream and desire of ours, we love what we've been provided.
November 11 - Thankful for mentors who willingly invest in my life.
November 12 - Thankful for friends scattered across the globe and the amazing ministries they're a part of!  Their stories of the Lost coming to Christ are an inspiration.
November 13 - Thankful for talented friends and their beautiful artwork!
November 14 - Thankful for our space heater and warm blankets.
November 15 - Thankful for a husband who looks forward to my birthday as much as I do.
November 16 - Thankful for a husband who enjoys cooking for me!
November 17 - Thankful for the opportunity we have to visit friends and family.
November 18 - Thankful for the next two months of being at home, without traveling and being apart from one another.
November 19 - Thankful for an awesome marriage conference with Dr. Gary Chapman.
November 20 - Thankful for lunch with friends.
November 21 - Thankful for God's provision of days, times, and seasons of rest in my life.
November 22 - Thankful for the trials of 2010 & 2011, for the ways in which the Lord draws us closer to Him.
November 23 - Thankful for email, Facebook, Skype and Vonage which allow us to keep in touch with friends living far away and overseas.
November 24 - Thankful for God's provision of everything we need and so much of what we want.
November 25 - Thankful for four day weekends to relax and enjoy family.
November 26 - Thankful for grocery stores, sales, and a stocked pantry and freezer.
November 27 - Thankful for the availability of everything I need (food and gadgets) to make a full on Thanksgiving dinner without too much hassle.
November 28 - Thankful for new found motivation!
November 29 - Thankful for new opportunities.
November 30 - Thankful for May 22, 2012.  The day when the newest edition to the Baldwin family is scheduled to arrive!

*We're still not facebook official - so send me a message instead of posting on my wall, please.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Funny Story

Ok - since I haven't posted any funny stories in Way too long, I thought I'd share this.

I totally locked my husband out of the house last night.  Not on purpose either.  No marital discord to be found here.  And then?  I went to sleep.  Yep.

See, Josh goes on a walk every night.  And lately, I'm too lazy to stay up past 10 pm.  He took his keys, because its just not smart for me to go to sleep in an unlocked house all by myself.  But...even though he had his keys, our door has thing little thing.  I don't know what it is but it flips over the door so even if someone had a key they couldn't open the door if this thing is closed.  Truth be told, I never thought it would really work if someone tried to open the door from the outside.  Apparently, it does.

So, last night, if you drove by our house, you would have seen Josh standing on the doorstep, pounding on the door, for about 45 minutes.  I was asleep!  And, of course, my phone was dead after the weekend.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Job Posting...End to an Era

We're posting my job in October.

Weird feeling.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What He's Been Teaching

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that this past year has been the hardest of our lives.  Between support raising, infertility, and the many other demands and expectations of our time and energy, its been an uphill battle every day.  I sat in church a few weeks ago, and realized what exactly it was the God has been trying to teach me this year.

To pray.  To pray about everything and give it to Him.  To pray as an act of worship, to pray intentionally, expecting results.  To pray constantly.  To take up prayer as my work where I am.

Can I just say that this lesson has been amazing.  Though I still worry sometimes, I find my inner voice reminding me to stop and pray.  Its a constant choice - to truly truly trust the Lord and believe my prayers will be answered.  To be real with the Lord, praying from the heart, and not use the words that I think I'm supposed to. Sometimes its crying out to God with my pain, my disappointment, my worry and my doubt.  Sometimes its pleading with Him.  Its praying from the heart, not from the head.

Its a decision.  Being in a constant state of prayer.  One I'm learning to make.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Somedays, I'm just done.  I'm done with the endless tasks and emails and the 'work' never ending.  I crave a 9-5 job for my husband, and a working at home life for me.

But - we were called to ministry. I was called to ministry.  And this means more than 9-5. This means eternal consequences for the work we do.  Ministry never ends.  Worship never ends.

So, when I say, "I'm done" give me thirty minutes.  Or a day.  Or a massage.  Or a perfect Chai Latte from Starbucks.  I'll be back when I've gotten a 'perspective check' from my Lord.