January 2009


For the first time in as long as I can remember, I got the stomach flu. Honestly, the last time I remember having the stomach flu was when I was about four years old. I’m sure I’ve had it since then, but I guess I’ve blocked it from my memory (and I now know why!). The flu is absolutely horrible – especially this season. I’ve been hearing people talk about how awful it is and boy are they right! As I was contemplating the pain and suffering of the flu and the purpose of it in my life …. I thought of some lessons to learn from it.

1. Pray for missionaries. People going overseas, especially to third world countries, experience the dreadful reality that their bodies are not used to that country’s water, food, culture, etc. Not only are they sick, but they’re in a foreign country! I can’t imagine how hard that must be.

2. Pray for the sick. In the grand scheme of things, the stomach flu is really not that big of a deal. There are others who are going through much worse than me (like cancer patients going through chemo and radiation who feel like this for months).

3. Let the body of Christ serve. I think sometimes we get to experience difficulties so that we can be humbled in asking for help, and others around us can serve. I was so blessed by my friend who got me 7-Up, Saltines, a can of chicken noodle soup, and Gatorade. Several other people also offered to get me anything I needed, which was so sweet. And I think when we’ve been blessed by someone like this, it makes us all the more willing to serve when the tables are turned and we’re the ones being asked for help.

4. Humility. There’s just something about laying on the bathroom floor that doesn’t leave much room for pride. And it really shows how small we are … we can’t even control our own bodies. A virus or bacteria (I’m not a science buff, I don’t know the correct terminology – sorry) is really, really tiny. But it can totally wipe us out! How powerful does that make us? (Not very!)

I’m thankful that my God is in complete control and that he has a good purpose in everything that He does!

Yesterday morning, my mind raced to this post by a former professor. I remember reading the portion of the article he posted a few months ago and feeling that same way. It’s quite interesting, as it speaks of life looking and feeling completely normal, unless you are watching or reading the news and constantly being reminded of our failing economy. I don’t have a TV, and I don’t read the paper; therefore, I easily forget what hard times our country is going through.

One month ago, I began my job at Grace to You (John MacArthur’s ministry) as a Customer Service Representative. I was so thankful for God’s provision, and I have loved every minute! It’s truly an amazing thing to work 8 hours a day with members from your church. πŸ™‚ But as I sat in a staff meeting yesterday morning … that’s when I remembered the article mentioned above. We were informed that Grace to You has been hit pretty hard by the economy over the last several months. A lot of time was taken to explain how due to the shortfall in giving, there are some changes taking place … and some cuts being made. These things are happening now as preventative action in order to keep the ministry running in the future. So, long story short … I lost my job (along with 2 others).Β  I went home, after only a few short hours, and did the only thing I could think to do … sit down with my Bible and journal.

I wrote down my thoughts and prayed, expressing my confusions and uncertainties to the Lord. I did not understand why this was happening, but at the same time I had peace. I knew that my God was on His throne, in complete control. I knew that His actions were in line with His love for me and goodness toward me. I knew that He had a reason to take a job away from me that He’d just given me and that I really loved. And I knew that He sovereignly orchestrated for me to now be able to attend the Truth and Life Conference last night and today … on the topic of “Suffering.” πŸ™‚

What does this mean now? Great question to which I wish I had the answer. But thankfully I know the One who does know the answers, and I can learn, once again, to walk by faith and dependence on Him. My gut reaction was to move back to Sacramento, but I was quickly reminded by the girls at work that I needed to pray about that and seek the Lord’s will. I have already been offered a free place to live here until I find another job – make that two actually. πŸ™‚ I just wonder what the Lord has in store. Is He pushing me to go to Italy sooner than I was planning (like now)? Maybe, andΒ  I will be writing more about the possibilities of that in another post. Does He want me to pursue a masters degree? Does He want me to move home to Sac? I just don’t know right now. But I do know that He will be faithful to guide me each step of the way.

I read this passage yesterday … truths which comfort and challenge my soul ….

“Then Job answered the LORD and said: ‘I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.’ ” – Job 42:1-6

Just wanted to let y’all know I’m doing a little research on visas and trying to figure out what might work for getting into Italy long term. At this point in what I have found out, marriage is the only option. At first, it was marrying an Italian, but with the latest I’ve heard, it’s just getting married period and not being a single woman in ministry. But I’m thinking there has to be another way …. so I will continue with my research. Frankly, I’m not quite desperate enough to be walking around with a sign: “Going to Italy? Will marry.”

With starting a new job, the holidays and being home for a week and a half, I have not blogged much (but I have several things in mind). Here are a few pics from our Italian Fellowship Group Christmas party. We enjoyed a Sunday afternoon together at the home of the Spitale family with wonderful food (of course, they’re Italian!), friends, and fellowship. I really enjoyed this time together and just being able to spend time talking with some people I have not had a chance to talk with much. It was really an encouraging time.

Hannah and Rebecca

Hannah and Rebecca

Mangia, mangia! (Eat, eat!)

Mangia, mangia! (Eat, eat!)

So there's actually only one Italian in the group, Maria (far left). But the other two are married to Italians.

So there's actually only one Italian in the group, Maria (far left), but the other two are married to Italians ... and I'm just a wanna-be italiana.

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Naomi & Hannah - She's the sweetest thing ... and she loves me! The love is definitely mutual. πŸ™‚

Paul, Bridget, and Rebecca - I love this little girl too. It's a blessing to see the Lord's work in her little heart.

Paul, Bridget, and "adopted" niece Rebecca - I love this girl too. It's a blessing to see the Lord's work in her little heart.

Well, there’s a glimpse into my Italian life. πŸ™‚ I will be posting more about Christmas and my time at home with my family and friends (it was wonderful!).