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Six Hundred Expectations

on what to do when you can't keep up



In that day, Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this will be its name: 
“The Lord is our righteousness.”

Jeremiah 33:16



Off Balance


My one-year-old is in this crazy stage of exploring and climbing on almost everything, but he's still getting the hang of his balance. This month, he fell and hit his head. so. many. times.

On a door hinge, on the steps, on the fridge door, on the coffee table, on the gravel, on a pinecone. Some days, I'm convinced he's actually aiming for the only hard object with a corner in sight.

Man, have I felt like a failure when it comes to protecting him! So far it's been nothing serious, but I am exhausted from trying to anticipate when this top-heavy toddler is going to tip over and the guilt I feel when I didn't catch him in time. I have literally found myself saying the words, "One day. Let's just make it one day without any head trauma, okay?"



It's been just one of the many contexts where I have been moved to frustrated, irritable words toward myself and my family, and it's been revealing to me that:

a) I have some unrealistic expectations about my ability to foresee and prevent every injury.

b) Kindness, patience, and self-control aren't exactly the traits that surface when I'm under stress or pressure.

It turns out, I can be just as off balance as my toddler.



Six Hundred Expectations





This verse in chapter 33 of Jeremiah looks forward to a new way of things for Israel. It hints at a time when God would do something totally unexpected; when he would take these 613 expectations where his people came up short again and again and again, and he would step in.

My eyes flitted across the words, “The Lord IS our righteousness,” and it caused me to pause.

I think I most often function at the level of “The Lord expects/wants/demands my righteousness.” What would change if that thinking shifted to, “The Lord IS my righteousness?”

I would stop trying to be something I constantly fall short of. I would rely on his goodness and strength and kindness instead of trying to be those things myself. I would let these words that sing of Christ stepping in resonate in my soul, and perhaps, for once, I would let him.


Powerless

I read this verse in 1 Corinthians this morning, and it put to words the frustration I often feel day in and day out:



I am called to a way of living that I am powerless to carry out. I am called to participate in a plan that I am totally inadequate and unprepared to bring together.

And I hate butting up against that powerlessness.

He asks me to be kind and self-controlled and to consider others’ interests, to parent firmly and also graciously, to be a respectful and uplifting teammate in my marriage even when I’m under a lot of pressure and feeling frustrated, to raise the funds to do full-time ministry, to move overseas where there’s no Target or Starbucks and the internet is slow and I’m far from my family and the language falls strange on my ears and the state of things is heart-breaking and the work is worth it, but the team is understaffed and the hours are long and unpredictable and to adjust to everything being different and to still be kind and self-controlled and a faithful parent and a respectful wife and

I can’t.

I can’t keep up. I cannot do it all. I cannot do even one of those things.

And I am tired.

Your list probably looks different than mine, but maybe you feel that way, too.






Will You Let Me?

You and I are as powerless to keep up with our lists as any Israelite straining to measure up to those 613 impossible expectations and constantly falling short.

But our Savior says this:

I can. I can do each and every one of those things. You are powerless, but I am all-powerful. “I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world, is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)

I am your righteousness. I will do this thing. Will you trust me and come along? Will you relax your furrowed brow and breathe and watch me do it? Will you believe that I am bigger than the obstacles and able to heal even the most broken things? Will you let me be powerful and impressive and praiseworthy in your life instead of seeking to be those things yourself?

I am the Lord. I am your righteousness. Will you rest in that or will you keep trying to take my place?
 



A Prayer For When I Blow It

Oh Lord -

I am not kind. But you are my kindness.
I am not patient. But you are my patience.
I am not wise. But you are my wisdom




When I am unkind, help me to remember, “Oh yes. That’s because that’s what I am like. But that is not what you are like. Jesus, be my kindness right now.” 

When I blow up, help me to say in that moment, “Oh yes, that’s because I am short-tempered. But that is not what you are like. You are patient. You are self-controlled. You are gentle. Jesus, I cannot do what is right without you, because YOU ARE my righteousness.”

I am powerless to live this life the way you ask me to. But your strength works best in my weakest moments. 

So I will just be weak. I will be humble. I will say I’m sorry. I will beg for your help. And I will watch and see what you will do with a heart that is willing to step out of the way and give you room to work.


Updates

 

Quarantine

Our base remained in quarantine throughout April. Cody was able to help out with some of the base's outside maintenance projects this month.




Quarantine also gave us the time to tackle some repairs and upgrades on our camper! We're excited to have it in good shape for all our travel when we return from Papua New Guinea for home assignments. 
 

 

Cody should be able to return to hangar work this month so the team can put the final touches on their helicopter rebuild project.

Our graduation from orientation is scheduled for May 21.




What's Next?


We've been praying for the Lord to provide short-term housing for us from June to January. We plan to base out of Florida while we work at raising the final 13% ($750/month!) of our monthly support and prepare for our departure to Papua New Guinea.

Beka's parents have a rental that just lost its tenants and they offered it to us at a really generous rate for that time. It even has an upstairs master bedroom and a jacuzzi tub!! God is such a good provider and we are so spoiled by His gifts to us!





As we pack up here for the move to Florida in June and pack up again just a short 6 months later to move our life overseas, we're a little intimidated by these next steps.

We've got a lot of paperwork to wade through, visas to apply for, decisions to make on what belongings we take and leave. My temptation is to stress about all the details I can't foresee.

You can pray for us to just take it task by task and day by day, give ourselves time to adjust to all that is new, and handle the transitions ahead with attitudes that see it as an adventure and a joy to walk into this new season God has prepared for us.





I, personally, am not usually all that nice to be around when I'm in the moving process, so you can pray for me to let the Lord step into those hard moments and reveal His kindness, gentleness and self-control.

Please continue praying that the Lord would build a team of people to partner with us in this ministry, that he would prepare our hearts to be faithful, obedient, and attentive to our relationship with Him, and that he would prepare the hearts of the people still waiting to hear His words in their own language.
 
 
Abishai




 Abi is 14 months old now! 


He's more and more independent all the time, from learning how to load the dirty clothes into the washer to pulling on his boots all by himself (and then giving himself some hearty applause)!

He came running into the kitchen the other day, excitedly repeating: "Book! Book! Book! Book! Book!", then handed me a story and helped himself up into my arms so I could read it to him. He is such a joy and usually has us laughing pretty hard about something every day (i.e. hiding unusual items in the floor vents or trying to make off with an entire bag of potatoes when I told him he couldn't have a snack yet).



We're still working on getting him scheduled for his consult with the pediatric urologist in Orlando. You can pray for the scheduling, surgery, and recovery to go smoothly.

Thank you for how you pray for our family! Please continue to ask the Lord to give us insight into how to teach Abi, discern his needs, and balance firm parenting with compassion and grace for his struggles (the tantrums have begun).

Pray that we would set our hearts on our good Creator and that we would faithfully point Abishai's attention to Him, too. 

 



Thank you so much for keeping up with us! 
 

Love,

Cody, Beka & Abishai
 


 

 
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