So Thankful Replay…Day 3

Today I am SO incredibly thankful for my parents!

As my parents get older – I find it more and more important to spend quality time with them when I can. My dad’s Parkinson’s is getting worse. He has good days and bad days…..but as time passes I realize more and more I simply have less days with him.

When we got the funds for our church I knew right away who I wanted to build it. I called my dad and he came to the Mole for 2 weeks to pour the foundation. He had the entire town involved in this project. Most of our Haitian foremen pick their friends or those that are in our church. They don’t reach too far out of the norm. But not my dad. At one point there were 90 people working on the church. It didn’t matter their background – what church they went to – or who they knew. The mayor told us this is the first project we’ve done where the whole community took some pride in being involved.

What’s interesting is that we’ve got a ton of curses against this church and everyone who participates! But I keep thinking they can’t say too much since SO MANY VILLAGERS from all backgrounds were there helping! That’s a lot of enemies to create! 🙂

Dad even in his physical weakness –  is the best construction leader you’ll ever find. As we celebrated my dad’s 70th birthday in May – we had each table decorated with a job he’s done at some point in his life. Decorating those tables & taking a trip down memory lane…..my dad has done a lot. I am so proud of all the things he’s accomplished. My boys looked at the tables and said – WOW! Papaw is like a superhero! I strongly agree!

***

My mom is closer to Jesus than anyone I know. She taught me how to pray – I mean face to the floor pray.  She taught me what it means to hold onto my faith even when the earth is shaking all around. She is the Nana that every child wishes they had. With 19 grandchildren how is it that each one thinks Nana loves them the most? That they’re the favorite? Because Nana doesn’t know how to love halfway. She makes each one feel like the most important person in the room.

I have faced a lot of heartache this year. My mom is always the first person I call. She unleashes her compassion and cries out to God with me. She bathes me in prayer. She bathes my children in prayer. She teaches me how to get back up again. She puts up with my craziness and all the emotional rollercoasters I seem to find myself on. I can’t ever imagine living in this world without my momma. It’s my hope & prayer that I will follow in her footsteps. That I will live my life out loud – unashamed  – and uninhibited – totally sold out for Christ! That I will always choose the path that God has laid out before me….even when it seems like the most impossible place to walk.

I am so thankful for my mom’s passion & patience! For the way she loves me, my family, and my ministry! If I’m half the mom – half the nana – that she is…..my kids & my kid’s kids will be the luckiest children in the world!

SO Thankful…Day 3

A lot of who we are has to do with where we came from…..

I had the most amazing childhood!  My mom would stop at nothing to give us children everything. She not only made EVERY Holiday as special as ever –but she made sure we understood that EVERY DAY was a day the Lord had made! She taught us the importance or prayer and made us feel that we were an integral part of the family. She made our house – a home.

As Halloween just finished up – I was thinking about the time my mom dressed up as a witch and was the tour leader of the Calhoun School’s haunted house. Now my momma loved to scare people on Halloween! Her costumes were always dramatic! I was going to go to that haunted house even though I was no more than 8 years old. My momma led me and some of the bigger kids through the house. She would whisper in my ear who the people dressed-up were  – – just so I wouldn’t be too scared!

Now my momma LOVED to write plays for church! I’m not talking about little plays – I’m talking about HUGE theatrical shows! I remember Jesus came to Disney World! She re-wrote all the nursery rhythms and led Mother Goose to Christ! She didn’t just write plays for church – she wrote award-winning plays for school and 4H! Gosh – I remember dressing up as a wind-up doll when I was in 2nd grade for a play at school and as a hobo in 4th grade when we won the 4H talent show!

People always tell me I have a knack for decorating – for throwing amazing parties – for finding the right gifts – for finding the right words – -for making a house in Haiti feel like a home!

And all I can say is…… any creativity and goodness I have – no doubt came from my momma!

***

Now my daddy — he’s the strongest man I know. A Vietnam vet – over 35 years as a missionary in Haiti – daddy don’t play!! You want something done – dad will do it. He won’t only do it – but he’ll do it better than you could’ve yourself. Anytime I want something done – or need wisdom about how to do something – he’s the first person I call.

Daddy taught me that my pain can serve a purpose. That God has a plan for me. That He wants to use me. That these battles that consume me are preparing me for the real war of Good versus Evil. That these “Faith Tests” are actually strengthening me and to embrace them instead of fearing them.

My dad isn’t afraid of anything. Nope. He’ll run his truck over a voodoo curse 15 times just to show the Haitians his God is more powerful! You want to yell something mean at the truck as it passes by – I don’t care if you’re in the states or in Haiti – – – better beware. Dad will stop that truck and back up!!

Everything could be falling apart all around us and I’ve actually seen him YELL to satan – IS THIS ALL YOU GOT? IS THIS THE BEST YOU CAN DO?  Oh daddy – don’t be yelling like that! We had a team in over New Years and the day the team arrived it began to rain HARD. There was no place to sleep that wasn’t wet. This team was 80 people and they were going stir-crazy because it was too rainy to do any sort of ministry. AND WHAT DOES MY DADDY DO? HE TELLS SATAN TO BRING IT!! (I blame him for the 15 days of straight rain!) HA! HA!

He’s not afraid to do anything in the Name of Jesus…..

Jose and I were here in Haiti during a coo one time. The airlines quit flying for months. The roads were cut off to our village. There were no other leaders but Jose and I on campus. There were men carrying guns up and down the streets. Since the roads were cut off there were no diesel trucks. Those men carrying guns were knocking on our gate and they wanted our diesel. EVERYONE was afraid that they would hurt us or rob us.

But I’ve got my daddy’s fearlessness in me. So what did I do? You got it – strapped a pistol to my hip and had two shotguns – one on each shoulder. I told the guard to open the gate and let me talk to those guys outside!! Now I’ve been in Haiti long enough to know what’s what! I knew those guys would think it was funny to see a chubby white girl with 3 guns walking right out to talk to them! And I was right! PHEW!

I told them without the diesel we can’t pump water. Without water – the people can’t drink. Guess who the people are going to attack when they can’t give their children water? Not the mission – but the men who stole the diesel! And that was that!

*****

THANK YOU LORD FOR GIVING ME THE BEST PARTS OF BOTH OF MY PARENTS!

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