Tag Archives: ministry

Tiny little ship

I have nothing to write about, except that I’m going to Papua New Guinea the day after tomorrow.

Whoa. Just whoa.

It’s pretty much the only thing on my mind at the moment.

I can think of nothing else.

Excited? Way too small a word.

There is organizing and list-building and list-crossing-off and emailing and errands and laundering and packing and cleaning…. and and and… lots to do.

But you know what? It’s all for PNG.

I can’t stop thinking about it.

I’m probably not going to sleep for the next three weeks as the four of us share a cabin smaller than our kitchen. I’ll say good-bye to facebook and instagram and pinterest and blogging. I’ll have micro showers and wear the same two shirts every-other-day. I’l not be able to pop down to the shops when I run out of something or realize I’ve forgotten something. No nightly news or long walks around the neighborhood. No time alone. No googling when I don’t know the answer to something! *gasp*

I’ll be on a tiny little ship based out of a tiny little cabin doing tiny little work that will make a great big difference.

And you know what else?

It’s gonna be amazing.

And it will probably change our lives.

It will certainly change the future.

Ummmm, did I tell you I can’t wait??!

STOP.

Q for you: When’s the last time you were preparing to do something that you were SO excited about??

Love,
A

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.

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We play our songs

Our son has been smitten over music since the moment he was born.

I can’t even remember exactly when we first noticed his love of music because it was always there.

He’s obsessed with the guitar. He loves the xylophone. Drums? Of course. Harmonica? Yup.

And this kid has moves – he looooves to dance. He feels it too – his dancing changes very much with different types of music. (We adore putting on slow music and watching him attempt a two-year-old interpretation of ballet. Love.)

Today we were playing guitar together – me on my guitar, him on his.

Judah sat a few feet away playing with toys and I sat across from Levi with the guitar on my lap and a kids song book out before me (expanding my song bank – ha!). Levi climbed all over me, clawing at the guitar, smashing into my case, stepping on my book. It was a total circus. And I wasn’t very much enjoying it.

I wanted to play a few songs together and sing “Puff the Magic Dragon” and see my boy pick up his own guitar and dance around the room like he usually does.

He wanted to play a few songs together too. It’s just that his definition of “play” looked very different to my own.

I finally gave up, put the song book away, and just let him have at the strings while I played some chords on the neck.

It was pretty terrible sounding, but of course he loved it.

Made me wonder how God feels when we’re “helping” him. We get in there and try to do it our way. We “play our songs” which often sound nothing like his.

And yet he loves it all anyway. He loves that we have a go. He loves that we want to participate.

He loves that we want to play a song with him.

I’ll try to remember that when Levi wants to “play” again.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What kind of songs have you been playing lately?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Love him with my whole heart, I do. (Dad)

Since watching it sail off into the sunset just a few hours ago, it seemed obvious that I would write about our ship tonight.

About the amazing people that are on their way to Papua New Guinea to give their very lives to others. About the ones that waved them off from the shore who have spent long hours preparing, assembling, building, welding, painting, cleaning, praying. About the many people that have rallied, given themselves, invested their time, emptied their wallets.

I was going to write about the people waiting on the other side of the journey. The ones who have hope rising because of the heart and help that the ship brings and represents.

And these are worthy things to write about. (I will.)

But then I realized that today is my dad’s birthday.

And maybe no one else in the blogosphere cares about reading a wee post from a girl about her dad… but I care about writing, about giving him space.

I have so many memories of my dad growing up. I kid you not, they are all happy.

He was just that good of a dad.

But you know what I always remember when I think back to him during our “little” years?

Bike rides.

And tennis.

And softball in the park and soccer in the yard.

Whatever was my current whim, there he was right alongside me, helping me to learn, helping me get better,

but mostly… just having fun with me.

What a great dad. Dependable, available, approachable, relatable.

Always giving, always fun, always involved (in the best possible way).

Sixty years of being the best dad (and now granddad) I could ever imagine having.

Love him with my whole heart, I do.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How do you remember your growing-up years with your dad?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


I don’t go to church. Or do I?

Whenever people ask me where I go to church I stumble and hem and haw and try to find words to answer their question.

The truth is, we don’t go to church. At least not in the sense that people are talking about.

Both Ryan and I have “home churches” that we love – his in Sydney, mine in Oregon. We love going back to those guys and feel totally at home there.

Those churches are places of friendship, connection, encouragement, and worship. They are places that we represent through our service. We consider ourselves an extension of them as we work here in Townsville.

But we don’t go to a place we call “church” every Sunday morning.

The thing is, we do have a church. We meet with a group of believers several days a week – working, serving, worshiping, praying, growing in relationship. We teach one another, we break bread together, we encourage and strengthen one another.

We actually are the church. It just also happens to be our workplace.

I know it’s hard for some people to get that.

They need a name, a denomination, a set of four walls.

So when I tell them that we don’t go to church, I can sense some of them cringing inside. (Is she really saved? Is she bitter toward the church? Is she *gasp* an independent?)

Newsflash, yes, I know God. No, I’m not bitter. And no, we are definitely not independent.

Sometimes I think we have far more community than I think is even comfortable.

(But that’s not really the point of church is it? To be “comfortable”?)

The point of church is to gather, serve, grow, teach, encourage, worship, connect. Be the Body.

So yes, I suppose I do go to church.

Nearly every day.

STOP

 

Q for you: What do you think church is?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


The launch. It’s coming.

I’ve been working for hours and hours and days now… getting ready to launch Bloggers for Birth Kits on my other blog.

That day is tomorrow.

And I can’t wait.

Funny how easy it is for a passion to spring up out of nowhere… Something like this that I’d never have dreamed of and yet it makes so much sense.

So many of my interests and passions combined: women’s issues, the developing world, birth, motherhood, service, YWAM, blogging, mobilizing, rallying people together, educating.

It’s a good fit really.

I almost didn’t do it this year because I feared getting too many donations.

Last year I wanted 300… and I got over 2000.

Um… hello.

This year, I don’t know…

I just want what God has.

I almost backed away, but a friend (who I barely know) challenged me. “Isn’t having too many a good problem?” she asked me in earnest. “Surely if that happens, God has a way of helping you handle it, right?”

BAM. Truth.

I suppose I’ve just been busy. And a little tired.

And the thought of lots and lots of emails and lots and lots of responding on social networks like blogs and twitter and facebook… is a bit tiring. (Especially when they’re primarily crammed in after 8:00pm at night when I’m already pretty wasted.)

And yet at the same time I feel completely energized by it all.

Doing something that has no (or little) personal benefit feels good, you know?

it feels right.

So here we go. In eight hours time Bloggers for Birth Kits Mothers Day Drive 2012 will launch.

Wish me luck! And come check it out here.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you ever given yourself to something and accidentally discovered a passion because of it?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Writing behind the scenes

There are so many reasons I write.

I love the creative aspect of writing. I love the way my brain works when I’m on the keyboard.

I love words. And rhythm. And piecing ideas together.

I love trying to make something–art or instruction–that is beautiful or enjoyable or sometiemes just plain useful to someone.

What many people don’t know is that I probably write offline far more than I write online. And between my six–yes six–blogs, I write a lot. (Only three of those blogs are public, mind you.)

BUt actually, much of my writing happens in emails. Just good old fashioned one-on-one, person-to-person emails. (“Old fashioned” – heh heh.)

Almost daily I get an email from someone who is asking for advice or prayer or encouragement, or who simply wants to share (and be affirmed in) an experience. Many of them are old students of mine. Some are friends, or friends of friends. Some I’ve met through blogging. And some seem to appear out of nowhere.

it’s an incredible opportunity to use what I love (writing) to be a blessing.

I don’t get paid for it. I don’t get famous from it. I don’t have anything to show for it.

But I love it.

Why? Because it’s tangible. I know I can help people… and I want to.

Yes, I can share my (at times limited) life and experiences… but more importantly I can point them to God, the One who gives life.

it’s a very private ministry, and extremely hard to quantify, but it’s a very valid one too.

The only problem comes when people ask me “what do I do?” (as in my work). I sometimes stumble over this question and usually just say I’m a stay-at-home-mom (plenty of work right there, folks!) and a part-time teacher. (Which is true.)

“Oh, and I write” I sometimes throw in there.

But mostly? Mostly I’m just me. Without a title. Trying my best to use what God’s given me to help out the next girl.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Is your “work” easily quantifiable?

 

Love,
A

p.s. I’m not always able to do it straight away, but I always try to make time to respond to emails and private messages.

p.s.s. I just realized that I was talking about emails as if they’re not online. Haha, oops. I suppose I should’ve talked about “public and private” instead of just on/off-line writing. I guess that’s what I get for writing without much forethought and with no editing! 🙂

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Little space, big dream

Later this year my family and I will be flying to Papua New Guinea where we’ll board the YWAM Medical ship, hole up in a small cabin, and spend a few weeks serving in villages where access to health care is limited.

Along with us will be teams of medical professionals – nurses, dentists, optomotrists, and more.

On board the ship we’ll run dental and optometry and basic health care clinics.

I haven’t been on an outreach like this in years now. Years.

To a YWAMer, that’s like slow death.

Ok, I’m being completely dramatic here. Nobody’s dying. (I’m not dying.)

But I am longing.

Longing to do what I joined this mission to do. Longing to be in the nations, helping people, helping people help themselves. Helping people to know God.

(To be fair, I’ve been doing all those things – in Australia. Just not “out there” in the developing world, which I love so dearly.)

Today we visited the Ship to look at hte rooms and decide where the best place for our little family to stay will be.

We chose a small room, where we’ll put a matress on the floor for Levi and Judah will share the bed with us. During the day, the bed folds up into the wall, leaving a small space for benches and a tiny floor area to play. (Most likely we won’t spend much non-sleeping time in there anyway.)

That little space created a lot of excitement in my heart.

Even though we’ve been planning this outreach for a long time now, today’s short visit to the Ship just made it all seem real.

This is happening.

Can’t wait.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you taken your family on an outreach before? Would you like to?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Monopoly

Whenever I meet with young people who are seeking direction, I always tell them not to make big decisions while they are feeling emotional.

That principle has been in my mind a lot this week.

Not that I’m in the process of making any big decisions.

But the number of times I have thought “that’s it, I’m outta here” this week is too many to count.

I’m tired and frustrated and angry and, well, mostly tired. And truthfully? HTe sacrifice of living far away from family just feels too big. It feels too hard.

Rainy season here feels too rainy.

I’ve never liked living here. Not speaking of the base or hte people – our ministry center is amazing and my friends are wonderful (and it really is a privilege to be here – yes, I know this). The city itself is pretty average – not amazing, but not awful either. But around this time every year I begin to think what the heck are we doing here? Seriously.

Of all the places in the world we could be, why are we HERE?

I spend my days cleaning mold off of hte walls, trying to wash clothes adn toys and furniture enough so that it doesn’t grow and destroy everything, (and throwing out things that is has destroyed), and then I rotate everything under fans to dry and get things dry.

Leaving the house is a mammoth effort – getting two babies in the car in the pouring down rain – but they also get stir crazy if we don’t.

This last week has been especially challenging – Ryan away, Judah sick and NOT SLEEPING, Levi cooped up inside.

I’ve been tired nd grumpy and emotional and basically just ready to jump ship.

And then my beloved finally gets home but he, too, is sick. Now he’s hte one in bed and watching tv. (which he needs of course, so it’s totally fine.) But it doesn’t stop me fantasizing that I was the sick one so that I could just retreat to the cover of my bed for a few hours.

Oh yeah, and if you’ve ever lived without a “paycheck”, well then, dang, you know how draining that sometimes feels. (Getting a “paying” job suddenly looks incredibly attractive when those hurdles just. don’t. seem. to. budge.)

If someone handed me plane tickets tomorrow to America to move there na d never look back I would seriously consider taking them.

Only problem is that I know I’d later regret it.

As much as I don’t like it at all here I also know that this is where my family is called to be and serve right now. It might not be forever, but it is for now. So for now I just keep choosing to trust God and believe that this is somehow best.

God is good, so his plans are best. I believe that with all my heart.

But it’s days (weeks) like these that I seriously wish God would hand me a “get out of jail free” pass and let me collect $200 along the way.

If only life were as simple as monopoly.

And if only the sun would come out tomorrow.

STOP.

Q for you: When’s the last time you experienced “when it rains, it pours?”

Love,
A


Chasing cows and investing in young people

Camping was amazing.

Dirty. Wet. Beautiful.

We had an ant invasion (not awesome), ate s’mores around the campfire (awesome), got super dirty (expected), ran out of water (unexpected), and had enough gear to fill a trailer (we’ve given up on trying to fit in our car).

Teaching and ministry was incredible. Ryan and I tag-taught everyday for three hours, and then six hours on Thursday and 13 hours on Friday. (I’m totally serious.) Then we got up at 6:am and baptised about 15 or 20 young people on Saturday morning before we left to drive home.

Did I say amazing yet?

Have you ever been camping with 90ish people? In the rain? WIth babies?

Camping with babies is fun. Tricky, but fun.

Naps are hard (the tent is hot and bright), but other than that they are so adaptable.

Levi chased cows (and now finally calls them “cows” and not just “moooo”) and threw a million rocks in the creek. Judah got to ride around in the Ergo for most of hte week.

Ryan and I enjoyed doing what we do best – working as a team and investing in young people.

I didn’t have any free time really, so my writing fell by the wayside. (And I’m ok with that.) But I did manage to read two thrids of a book since I was reading while breastfeeding Judah instead of scrolling through facebook or pinterest or blogs or emails on my phone.

And now we are home. Clean hair, clean sheets, clean clothes, and plugged in again.

I’m not finished uppacking but Ryan is repacked and on the otherside of Australia.

I’ve done six loads of laundry and have four more to go. (Really wishing I had a dryer.)

And, as much as it urks me, I’m keeping the boys in disposalbles until I get the camping laundry all finished, thankyouverymuch.

Now it’s just me and the boys.

I managed baths and bedtime on my own beautifully tnight, with both kids in bed asleep by 7:25 – Levi by 7:00 and Judah by 7:25. (Yes, I’m feeling accomplished. And exhausted.)

I think it might take me a week to recover from camping. (So tired.) and then another week to recover from Ryan being gone this week.

But life is good and meaningful and full and happy.

And I’m really glad to not have ants crawling over me in my sleep anymore. But I keep imaging them and squirming anyway.

Ugh.

STOP.

Q for you: What are you glad for today?

Love,
A

p.s. Although I missed a couple of days, I did write while I was camping. I’ll try to post those entries soon, but I’m in no rush. I have my hands full, so when I get to it, I get to it. Just thought I’d let  you know.

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos


The swearing Malaysian pastor

I had only been in Malaysia a few hours before I found myself in church.

The pastor spoke English in a thick Chinese-Malaysian accent.

I sat a few rows back from the front, straining to listen and understand what he was saying.

The message was about sin, and how it ruins lives.

He began to use an illustration about stepping in dog doo-doo and how that was like sin – messy, smelly, leaving a trace wherever it was tracked.

Except he didn’t use the word “doo-doo”… or even crap or poop. He used the word $hit. He used it over and over and over again.

He seriously used it at least twenty time.s

At first I thought no, surely that’s not what he’s saying. But then, as giggles from the rest of the non-Malaysians began to errupt from my row, I realized he was indeed using a swear word in his message.

I learned something new that day.

Apparently what is a swear word in one culture is not in another.

(Hello and welcome to Malaysia.)

Needless to say I will never, ever forget his illustration abotu sin.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Living in Australia I’m faced with this often – words that are considered rude in America aren’t here and vice-versa, but none make me chuckle like the swearing Malaysian pastor. What defines a swear word to you?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos