Monday, 15 September 2014

What they told us about Timing.


Disclaimer: no we are not expecting twins, we have been married four years, hence the number in the pictures :) 

It's kind of funny really, just how openly some pretty private things are discussed really. The timing for starting a family when you are a young married couple being a major one I've noticed since we got married.
When we were first married, everyone just commented on how fun it would be when we were at the stage for children, how we should enjoy the precious honeymoon stage together before they came along. How its a great time to get to know each other. How there was plenty of time in the future for rearing children, after all we were married pretty young.


Then after a year went by, several people close to us started to ask questions, they would ask about our timing for children, if we had any thoughts. Where we were in terms of our thinking about them.


After two years, even people who didn't know us as well felt comfortable asking a little more. After replying with the length of time, they would usually comment about how we must be thinking about children soon. After all we had been married for a few years and the timing was great to start really considering children.


Another year went by and people who barely knew us at all would meet us and ask how long we were married, then comment about how time had passed and we were we seriously considering having children now. How it was perfect timing and if we wanted a larger family, we should start already.


Now its been four years of marriage and people have actually started asking if we just don't want children. How time is really getting on and if we want them at all, we should get going. I find this so funny, as we have never previously mentioned that we don't want children. Or even what our thoughts have been. It just seems to be a topic that people are free to ask without pausing to think about other possibilities.




My friend, Wynne wrote a beautiful post about infertility. About her struggle with it for many years, and I have several other friends for who this is a real struggle. Now I'm not saying that is why we haven't had children so far, please don't hear me writing that. But what I am saying is that I think in general so many of us are unaware or don't think about the possibility that couples may be struggling with infertility and we may not know. So our pointed questions of when they plan on having children could be like pouring salt into a wound, a very deep real wound. Infertility and struggling to conceive is not something that is freely talked about in churches and I so wish it was, so we could love on those facing this struggle. So we could be a little more sensitive in our questions and not put our feet in our mouths so frequently without meaning to.


I personally am trying to be so careful about even just lightly teasing our married friends about timing for children, never knowing whether infertility is something they struggle with or if there are other very real issues preventing them from trying to start a family. We all have such deep hidden issues that aren't known to everyone in our lives, and sometimes I think we should remember that we never know was is going on behind the cheery smiles & light answers to deep questions like these.


I am thankful for the sweet ladies that have written about this issue & remind us of the very real struggle going on behind closed doors. Reminding us that it isn't as simple as just deciding to have children and then conceiving. How ultimately the Lord is in control of our families, size & everything.
And His timing is perfect, even when it doesn't fit with what we would pick for ourselves. 





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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Kenya.




'And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.'
– Galatians 6:9 - 


Dear Friends,

I am super excited to be sharing with you an incredible update on what I/we have been doing behind the scenes of this little space. A few months ago we were told about a trip our church would be taking in the Fall to a rural part of western Kenya. Both the hubby and I discussed what this would look like for us to go in terms of vacation time, finances and health aspects. 
After prayer & consideration we both felt the Lord was leading us to take a leap of faith and participate on this trip with a group from our local church here in the Midwest. 


Since then we have just continued to see the Lord swing open door after door, international travel is never a small decision, even though we are both no strangers to it with our immediate families living in 4 time zones. 
So we both agreed to explore vacation time with our employers and see where we were at. 
Unexpectedly to both of us, as Andrew had just started a new job at the beginning of the summer, we both received an enthusiastic go-ahead to participate. 
This stunned us both as it was totally the opposite of what we had expected. Thinking for sure the timing would just never work.


So we agreed to faithfully commit to the team following that go-ahead and trust the Lord with the financial aspects of both of us travelling together. We are trusting Him completely and thought this would be an amazing opportunity to both go and serve together overseas, something we have never done before. And something which we both have a passion for and hope to pursue in the future as a family. 




We are not going alone as a team, but going to be a part of what the Lord is already accomplishing in Kenya. The organisation we are partnered with is a local Kenya ministry called Build The Village. During our short trip we hope to encourage and support their ongoing ministry. 


A few areas we expect to be involved with are the prison ministries which have been newly established by the organisation, hoping to share the gospel and share the love of Jesus through conversation, sports and serving. Orphan Care as we will be staying on site next to an orphanage run by Build The Village, we are both so excited by this aspect. Marketplace Evangelism, something which will put both Andrew & I out of our comfort zones as we learn to boldly share our faith in public like never before. Finally, VBS style programs which we hope to do in several local schools. 


Sound like a lot? We think so too. But we are excited as we know this is going to grow us tremendously and take us both outside what we are comfortable with. Our prayer is that it would grow our love for Jesus & the Kenyan people as well as light a fire within us to share with others this amazingly good news which can tend to take a back seat in the daily grind of life. 


We would really appreciate your prayer as we prepare as a team, that we would grow in team unity. That our hearts would be ready to be an encouragement to each other as well as those we come into contact with. We realise that without Him, none of this would be possible and we certainly don't wish to go on our own effort which would be entirely in vain. 


We also need to raise the financial commitment for the trip, will deadlines in September and October. Should you chose to partner with us financially, we just want to say thank you for your generosity.



I am so thankful for this precious community which has supported me in so many ways and have been bursting to share this exciting journey with you all. 



Much Love, 

Lisa & Andrew


P.S. If you would like more information or have questions, email me: LoveLisaElle@gmail.com




'To belong to Jesus is to embrace the nations with Him.' 
-John Piper- 

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Monday, 8 September 2014

Happy Heart Box.



It always excites me so much to see friends of mine chasing their God-given dreams & I am thrilled to share with you today a ministry set up by a dear gem. I have had the opportunity to attend two conferences with Brittany and let me tell you, she is the real deal. One of the sweetest, most genuine ladies I have met through this sweet community. She dearly loves other women and has such a serving heart, perfect since she serves alongside her hubby in ministry. So I will let her share more about this new ministry, I really hope you will head over and check out how you can get involved. 


Hello, my name is Brittany Willard. I'm so glad you are here! Welcome to Happy Heart Box. My hope is that this is a refreshing place for you: A place where you are encouraged to celebrate in the middle of everyday life; A place where freedom in Jesus is pursued. Happiness is revived. A lifestyle of living in Him is discovered. 

Happy Heart Box started as a dream the Lord gave me in the Spring of 2014. In the Fall of 2013 I was fighting in a battle over my life. Upon the birth of my daughter, I experienced extreme health complications when I developed a rare condition called Postpartum Preeclampsia. It has taken me nearly a year to recover from this, but God is my healer. During that time, it was difficult to find encouragement. It felt as if my body was completely against me. I couldn't take care of my children, and it caused me to feel distant from loved ones.  However, the Lord brought me through it all in such a big way. God began to remind me of all the other difficult times in life he had brought me through, to show me how faithful he was then and now. He placed a passion within me to encourage other women experiencing hard times and remind them they are loved by the Lord.  

God has given me a desire to celebrate Him, to never be silent, but to always share His faithfulness with others. The Lord placed Psalm 30:10-11 in my heart during that difficult season of life and it has now become my life verse: "You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with you. That I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!" 

My hope is that women who receive a Happy Heart Box feel encouraged and know that they are loved. My desire is to simply be a little extra happy in someone's life at just the right time. To remind them to celebrate life in the Lord. The Lord instructs us in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 to walk in friendship with others, to be there for one another in hard times, and to be an encouragement. Let Happy Heart Box be here for someone in your life who needs some extra happy. 

in love,

Brittany  
happyheartbox@gmail.com





Happy Heart Box

All Images belong to Happy Heart Box, the Hope Spoken image is via Hope Spoken Website. 





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