Monday, June 18, 2012

The gifts from His hand...

"The authentic worship of a Christian is the surrendering of any notion of independence from God and an acceptance of everything as a gift from God." Ann Voskamp

This week has had several hard things in it.  I packed up my house, took pictures off the walls and books off the shelves, cleaned cabinets and got ready for furlough.  In the process, I also had to say many goodbyes to good friends and people I love.  As I did these things, I wondered what the future might hold.  Just like when I come here from there, I learn of people who have died or suffered a tragedy.  This has happened in  past furloughs and I wondered what I might hear this time.  I wondered what might happen in the next few months in this 'home' as I am in that 'home.' I grieved the loss of the daily living with these folks even as I anticipated the daily living with others in my other home.

I traveled to Nairobi on Thursday.  I hoped to fly stand by on Sunday night.  I will be attending a missionary retreat in Switzerland on my way home for furlough.  This will be a time to relax and breathe.  It will give me a time to reflect on the last three and a half years and consider how to tell the story.  I recently found out that one of my cousins and his wife are also in Switzerland.  It was too late to change my ticket without paying a very hefty price increase.  So, I decided to try flying stand by a couple days early so I could visit with them.  

I went to the airport a little early and went to the check in counter with my bags ready to get on the plane.  After all, I am just one person.  Surely there would be an extra seat.  Well, it was not to be.  There were some seats, but because I had purchased my ticket several months ago and gotten a missionary discount, I could not get on the plane.  There had to be a "missionary discount" seat available.  This is the high season for tourists in Kenya.  There were no "missionary discount" seats available on the flight and there were none for the next night either.  So, I went away very disappointed.

Hard things happened this week as you can see.  Even so, I have to say that I am thankful.  I am thankful that the Lord has brought me to this place.  I grieve the loss of friendships that I would have never made if it wasn't for Him bringing me here and helping me to love.  I am disappointed that I don't get to see my cousins, but I am excited to go to this retreat in the Swiss Alps and be able to spend some quality time worshipping His majesty surrounded by His beautiful creation.  Because I didn't get to fly stand by, I got to see a friend from Uganda and meet her fiance.  I will also get to see some old college friends that I would otherwise have missed.  Everything is a gift from the Lord.  Even the things that disappoint and grieve us can be things for which we give thanks.  There are things in this life that are really horrible.  Even in these, God is good and helps us to see the things for which we can give thanks.  Our very lives are gifts from his hand.  And so I continue to look for His gifts even in the hard things, give thanks and worship Him.

gifts full
546. My full canned goods cabinet was able to bless several others as I cleaned it out to leave.
547. My suitcase is so full!
548. Empty walls and a trunk full of pictures to store.
549. Trunks of books packed away until I return.
550. I got the house in a bit of order before leaving tomorrow.
551. Happy kids with popcorn as a snack - a hard goodbye to them!

552. The plane was only 40 minutes late instead of two hours they had said!
553. A restful place to stay with friends in Nairobi.
554. The "other" Lynn (Cazier) is recovering well from sinus surgery this week.
555.  I was able to close my Kenyan bank account with only a few problems and in only two hours!  The fees are too high, so I will get an account at a different bank when I return.
556. I picked up a new pair of fun trousers that I had made.  Oops!  The front and back don't quite match in colors, but it is close enough and makes them even more fun!  :)
The lighter side is the front and the darker the back :)
557.  I found the things I was looking for quickly at the handcraft market.
558. gifts moving - me up and down stairs as I rearrange things in my suitcases to get ready to go.
559. I found an adapter for Switzerland so I can charge my computer and phone while there.
560. A fun lunch of pizza and ice cream with the Caziers and their interns.
gifts in my Dad

561. He loves me unconditionally!
562. He loves the Lord and serves Him faithfully.
563. He shared with me a great love for God's creation.
gifts from my Heavenly Father
564. He loves me unconditionally!
565.  He adopted me and made me his heir.

566. He created a beautiful world full of amazing people, places, animals and things for me to enjoy.
567. He gave me a chance to catch up with a friend and meet her fiance' today. 

That is my small list of the many gifts from my Heavenly Father's hand this past week.  I hope you have had a great week and are keeping your own list of gifts that He has given to you.

I'm linking up here today.


  1. hi lynn ~

    so glad i stopped by here today. we are missos (i am also doing some literacy work), living and working in niger - and are also in a season of goodbyes where we are the ones staying and everyone else is taking off. my dearest friend leaves this year, if not definitively, at least for several years and we aren't even sure how much longer the Lord will have us here. it is so hard to have two homes... but at the same time, i'm so thankful for the richness those two homes and worlds bring into our lives.

    just prayed that your retreat would be truly refreshing and that your welcome to your "there" home just a delight!

    thanks for sharing your heart and a reality to which i can so relate.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Having hearts in more than one place is hard! Saying goodbyes when you are staying or when you are going are always a tug on the heart. Having things up in the air as far as plans go also seem to be a part of this life God has given us. I'll be praying for you in this season and as you seek the Lord for your future. I know the feeling as I am also in a period of change and not really knowing where He might be leading.

      Thanks for your prayers and your encouragement!