I hate goodbyes! — December 9, 2012

I hate goodbyes!

Having fellow missionary friends is such a wonderful blessing in my life. However, it has its drawbacks. Saying goodbye is never easy, and saying goodbye to friends moving across the globe is even harder. Just a few days ago, I had to bid farewell to my sweet friend Elizabeth Ewing. She and her family moved to Chile to begin their work alongside Jason and Lori Holt, church-planters in Santiago. Josh and Elizabeth’s daughter, Olivia and my Jo have a special connection. It’s so strange to me, but they just LIGHT UP when they see each other. It breaks my heart that these girls do not get to grow up together, but I know that they each will have their own friends and adventures like most kids will never have. I am so thankful for the work that Josh and Elizabeth plan to do in Chile, and I know the Lord will bless them for their faithfulness and willingness to answer His call to the foreign field.

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In the next year, we will say goodbye to many more friends: Jim and Autumn Roberts to India, David and Katie Gardner to Peru, Scott and Melissa Newton to Spain, Phillip and Lori Bassham to Thailand, Paul’s brother Jake and his wife Stephanie back to China, and Paul’s sister Rebel and her husband Will to Japan. (Am I missing anyone? I am sad enough as it is!) Some of these we know we will not see for many years as our furloughs will not line up together. I am thankful that the world has become “smaller” and that there are many resources we can use to stay in contact and to stay in prayer for one another.

The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord! He takes our friends from our daily life, but He will give us blessed ministries and wonderful relationships we never would have made had we not trusted in His perfect plan!

Here is a wonderful blog about being a friend to missionaries: http://hollycpearson.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/a-sender-friend/ I encourage you to read it and try to be a friend to those in the ministry…even though it hurts.

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Paul’s Birthday — October 11, 2012

Paul’s Birthday

Wednesday, October 10 was Paul’s 24th birthday. I have been blessed to have spent 6 years celebrating this day with him, but I’ve gotta say, this year was maybe the best one of all! Of course, sharing it with the sweetest 7 month old had to help!

Tuesday, we had his sister Rebel, her husband Will, and his brother Chris came over for dinner. Paul had requested Skyline chili which he loves but can only get in Ohio. This is the second year in a row he has opted for this special meal, and last year, while looking for supplies for home made Skyline chili I found that our Kroger carries it by the can! I thought $30 of supplies sounded like a bit much for cheese coneys and chili three-ways. So, I went with the $2.89 can instead! And it tasted pretty close to the real thing!

After dinner, our friends Peyton and Alicia as well as our upstairs neighbors/friends Jeff, Mindy, and Hudson (who is 8 days older than Jolynn) joined us for cake. That day was Peyton’s actual birthday, and I made them both wear “Birthday Boy” pins, much to their dismay. I made Paul’s favorite, Yellow Marble cake with home-made chocolate frosting which just happened to be Peyton’s favorite, too! I had ruined 1/2 of the 2 layer cake I made Monday by setting it on an active burner, so I had Paul pick up more cake mix on the way home Tuesday (happy birthday to you, right?). The next 2 layers turned out great, so I whipped up some more frosting, and we had a monstrous 3-layer cake!

We, Peyton, Alicia, Rebel, Will, and Chris all played Monopoly Deal which is our new favorite game! I can’t remember who won…probably me! But we had a great time! I love that we can just have a good time together playing games and eating. Considering how much of the world “celebrates” birthdays, I am perfectly happy with the way we do things! Such sweet fellowship with such dear, dear friends!

Wednesday, Paul and I had lunch at Five Guys and went to get links taken out of the watch I bought him to go with his suit. I have to say, I got an AMAZING deal on it, and I was so thankful to have been able to give him something nice that he needed without feeling remorse about how much I had spent!

We dropped in at Coal Mountain Baptist Church which is all of about 5 minutes from our house. We missed the pastor but had a great time talking to the chairman of the deacons, and we hope to be meeting the pastor soon! We got home at 8 o’clock, spent the evening skyping Paul’s parents, and finished it with pizza and a movie in bed because he said he “didn’t want his birthday to end.” Success, I’d say!

New Friends — September 11, 2012

New Friends

Last week, I had the privilege to attend a ladies prayer meeting in a sweet woman’s house. Her name is Jyothi, and I met her at the India Independence Day Celebration. Once a month, she has these women over to her house for a prayer meeting and fellowship. Most of these women are Indian or are Americans married to Indian men. I felt a little clueless about the culture. I forgot to take off my shoes before entering the house, and I was dying of thirst when we ate the spicy Butter Chicken, but I had noticed no one else was drinking while they ate. They were all very sweet and gracious to this ignorant visitor, and I had a lovely time getting to know each lady. They loved on my baby and were excited to hear about our plans to minister in India. Some thought we were crazy for wanting to go since they had wanted to be in the States so badly but they were thankful that we were willing to go.

I was very blessed to  hear these faithful women pray for their lost family, especially their husbands. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to be the only believer in your family, without even your husband knowing the Lord with you. My heart broke for these ladies, and I pray that their husbands would be saved. I greatly admire their persistent prayer and testimony in their husbands’ lives, and I know the Lord desires to save them if they would only come to Him. I left with an incredible sense of gratefulness that I have a husband who knows, loves, and serves the Lord and also a deep sadness that these ladies did not have the kind of marriage we have in the Lord.

I was encouraged also by how much these women believed in the power of prayer. They prayed over just about every topic you could think of! They not only believed that God could do big things but that He would. I was asked to pray for the persecuted church, and I was convicted that I did not do this more in my own prayer life.

While there were many things that could have divided us, we were united in our faith in and love for the Lord. I left with a bounce in my step, thankful for new friends and a God that brings unlikely people together. I am confident that these women are praying for us as we pray for them and for their husbands to be saved.

Good things — October 24, 2011

Good things

I feel like there is a lot of pressure on a first blog post, but I am just gonna keep it simple. There are a few reasons why I wish to begin and, fingers crossed, keep up with a blog.

1) I feel like I am leaving some family/friends “out of the loop” on all things pregnancy, ministry, and other happenings in Taubeland. I find myself saying often, “Didn’t I tell you that?”

2) The length of my Facebook statuses is a little ridiculous.

3) My heart is full, and I can’t keep quiet. The Lord is blessing and teaching me, and I really want to share with others what He is doing in my life. Additionally, I want to keep these thoughts fresh on my mind and heart so I can continually be reminded of His wonderful ways of provision and care in my life.

Hopefully, this time, I don’t get caught up in analyzing every post, scrutinizing every detail hoping I communicate myself in a way that would be entertaining and, even, impressive to the reader. Instead, I want to focus on sharing my heart and my love for the Lord and communicating myself in a way that brings glory to Him.

Finally, I know that in order to do this, I must filter my thoughts and my words through Philippians 4:8.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

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