Posts Tagged With: fence

On the nature of Love & bein’ a country boy

Monday October 24, 2011 – 7:35am – Office @ Big Woods Mission – Esther, LA

“Learn where there is wisdom, where there is strength, where there is understanding, that you may at the same time discern where there is length of days, and life, where there is light for the eyes, and peace.”
–Baruch 3:14–

Last week I started getting the urge to do another journal entry. After all, it’s been over a month. (Where does the time go?) Thought that I’d get a chance Saturday during Desert Day, but I had a good distraction. A friend of FMC who attended our Life In The Spirit Seminar at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Lafayette stopped by. I had been corresponding with him to try and get a copy of Sarah Granger’s talk to him. Tried to get back to journaling later in the day on Saturday, but things kept coming up, and I didn’t wanna force it. Sunday I was gone all day. Caught a ride to 10am Mass in Richard with Kylie so I could hear Sammy and Lindsey give a talk for World Mission Sunday. Stopped at Candyland Cottage in Rayne after Mass, and then Uncle Donald’s after that.

Ok captain, time to land the plane and get to the point. So, two weeks ago, someone close to me told me she was doing a discernment retreat to try and get a handle on what God is saying to her about her next steps on her journey. Being the good influence she is, I was motivated to do one as well. I was discerning both missions and marriage. For missions, I was discerning my next steps for both long-term and short-term mission opportunities. For marriage, I was discerning the who/what/how/when factors. As far as my discernment of missions went, my desire to go to Asia at some point was confirmed. Seeing as how it looks like me and Luis might end up in Costa Rica, my time in Asia is looking like it will be with a short term mission group. I also discerned that if God puts me with a family again next year, that it would be with the Romeros. For short term missions a whole plethora of opportunities popped up. The Phillipines, St. Lucia, Ecuador, and Peru all came up. Already confirmed that I’ll be helping to lead a trip to St. Lucia in January. We’ll see what God does with the other three locations.

As far as the marriage thing goes, you didn’t honestly think I’d give you all the answers to that, did you? 🙂 It’s a private revelation from God sort of thing, where only the people concerned find out. However, I can say that I also did alot of reflecting on friendship and love, and the end of this entry I’ll include some of the nuggets of wisdom God gave to me. The realizations and revelations were a blessing to me and were proof of the Holy Spirit working through prayer.

Living out in the country has been really good for me. Yes, a big part of my season of growth right now has been due to community life. When you are surrounded by good people and a life of prayer, you WILL grow in holiness. But that’s not the only factor. Being surrounded by nature is good for my soul. Living in the peace and quiet instead of the noisy and fast-paced city is good for my soul. Seeing things like rice fields, swampland, horses, cows, pastures, fog, dogs, barbed-wire fences, & birds is good for my soul. Swimming in a muddy pond that is home to the occasional 3-4 foot gator is exhilarating…………….and good for my soul. Burning logs and branches is messy, and good for my soul. Killing wasp nests is good for my soul. Pounding on a pile of rock hard dirt, shoveling it into the back of a truck, dumping it into a hole, filling a wheelbarrow full of horse manure to fill said hole with “fertilizer” so grass can grow and thereby hold the dirt in place, is good for my soul. Riding my bike down a country road and seeing a beautiful oak tree draped with spanish moss is good for my soul. Working and sweating and getting blisters and sore muscles is also good for my soul. I love where God has me at right now. I love that I get to wake up and do this (and other missionary stuff) every day. I think perhaps the singular greatest blessing I’ve received since being back at Big Woods is being able to work with my hands and do manual labor. It has taught me so many things, including obedience AND knowing the satisfaction of a hard day’s work.

Lord Jesus, thank you for all of these blessings. Please continue to shower them down upon me. Help me to continue being open to your guidance. Bless us in all our missionary endeavors here at FMC, especially as Mrs. Genie prepares to go to China, and Intake prepares to go to Mexico.

Nuggets of Wisdom from The Holy Spirit about Love:

* be free to love * love unconditionally * draw close to me so that you can draw close to her * take a leap of faith * Friendship is not just a consolation prize, it is love through companionship. And marriage is the fulfillment of friendship * Instead of choosing good over evil because of an ideal, I can now choose good over evil because of someone. When I think in terms of people instead of ideals, love as a choice becomes real, and is easier to make * It should be a give and take, where you can savor the mystery * I need someone who brings out the best in me * I need someone who can bring me out of my shell * If you know the Lord has brought someone into your life, if you know you are drawn to someone because of a mutual love  for the Lord, then do not hesitate to grow close to that person! Do not be afraid that you are “deifying” them or “idolizing” them. Let yourself enjoy them and their company. Let yourself enjoy the love you give and receive. Draw closer to them by drawing closer to the Lord. That person is an instrument of God’s love in your life. To put them off due to a false sense of caution, humility, or discernment is a tragedy. By not putting your heart on the line and loving the person unconditionally, you risk losing out on the greatest treasure in life, LOVE.

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Random fun moments during missionary training

10-7-10 – In the kitchen in the trailer behind the office @ Big Woods (Esther, LA)

Today’s entry marks a bit of a change of pace. We’re gonna talk all about the fun randomness of missionary training. 🙂 So, this past Saturday we had our Lord’s Day Supper as usual. Afterwards, several people were going to watch a college football game on TV and I was planning on listening to the UL game on the internet radio feed. But, once supper was over and I was headed to Mrs. Genie’s office to listen to the game, I heard a bunch of the kids screamin’ and hootin’ and hollerin’ (nothing unusual about that) so I decided the game could wait and that I was gonna go investigate. As soon as I approach the living room, the kids launch into a screaming ROAR and started to chant my name. Little did I realize that they were having a headstand contest and I had just become the latest contestant. Well, with my mile-long legs and small torso my success was nominal at best. But, I did achieve a headstand and yet another raucous roar of approval.

After observing the insanity for a few more minutes, I go back to the game. Once halftime rolled around I wondered “What the heck am I gonna do for twenty minutes?” THIS time I heard more hootin’ and hollerin’ and some music too. Of course I went back to the living room for round two. Lo and behold it was a dance party with the 4 single missionaries and all 16 missionary kids! All kinds of Disney songs and other songs were played and we danced like a bunch of crazy fools. 🙂 At one point when dancing with 4 year-old Bridget, I received proper instruction on how to do the “twirl and dip” (when the guy wraps the girl in his arms and dips her backwards). I may have even partaken in some free-form ballet as well as some random spaz dancing. Honestly it was the most enjoyable worry-free fun that I’ve had in a long time.

My next adventure involves horses. Apparently, the horses in our pasture here at FMC are very smart, because they found a hole in the fence on Monday at lunchtime. So Mrs. Genie comes honkin’ like crazy in the Suburban saying “the horses are loose! Let’s go round ’em up!” Me and Sarah Carroll hop in the Suburban and drive down Horseshoe Rd (no pun intended) past the horses and get out the vehicle. We (along with Mrs. Genie) spread our arms wide to make ourselves look big and form a human chain to prevent them from going past us. Once we had the other road to Hwy 82 blocked off and Mr. Frank got to where we were, we herded them up the road to FMC and back into the pasture. Should have known that NOT fixing the fence meant they’d get out again. Duh.

So at lunchtime I see Mr. Frank in the truck on the gravel path going back to Joe and Brooke’s house. When I go to investigate (I wanted to use the truck) he tells me “the dang horses got out again.” Luckily where they were was a dead end path. I stood in the path with my arms spread wide and lookin’ big and hoping they didn’t head my way. Mr. Frank drove the truck down the path and herded them back into the pasture through the hole they escaped from. Once again, no patch in the fence = another escape. Sheesh…

So, shortly after our men’s bible study started after supper, I hear another series of loud honks. Good heavens, I hope Mrs. Genie just needs help bringin’ groceries in. Nope. It was escape #3 for the day! Me and Odilio Alvarez open the gate to the pasture and park the Suburban to the side of the entrance with his lights on. We were hopin’ to get them in the direction of the corral so we could keep them there until the fence was mended. (While we were waiting, the other guys blocked off the roaded and herded them down Horseshoe Dr. back into our pasture). Needless to say, the pasture is huge and Me and Odilio could not block them. So, we proceed Wild-West style to chase/herd them back towards the corral. Mark informed us afterwards that it probably wasn’t the best approach, since they could have been spooked and possibly been very hard to get into the corral.

We also almost goofed up because they ended up goin around the lake, which means they could have potentially escaped/wandered off into the swamp. In the end though we succeeded. The other guys (after askin’ us to not herd them with the Suburban anymore) met them on the opposite side of the lake with some grain and led them into the corral. It sure was fun though. The Suburban  had the step-side thing and I initially hopped on the step and held onto Odilio’s seat as we started the chase. After seeing that combining my position with speed and momentum during the chase would equal disaster, I decided to hop in the front seat. Our other technique was simply herding/chasing them in the direction of the corral, all the while slapping the side of the Suburban, yelling “Heah heah!” as well as several varieties of “Yeehaw”, “Giddyup”, and “Get ’em doggy!” 🙂

The last memorable thing to document is that I learned how to mend a barb-wire fence. It basically involved using existing trees and posts and inserting new posts into the ground. On some sections we simply reattached the existing barb-wire and in other sections we’d unroll a portion from the spool and attach it. We had a total of five sections to patch, and so far the horses have  not escaped again, so I think we fixed all of the escape routes. And I do have to admit that even though my role during the fence mending (with Mr. Frank, Mark Eckstine, and Odilio Alvarez) was mainly “helper/observer”, it still made me feel like more of a man. In conclusion, I just wanted to post this to let everyone know that missionary training is NOT all work and no play. God has been bringin’ me lots of happy moments. 🙂  Praise the Lord! Amen, Alleluia, Glory!

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