Choosing Here

As we haul bags into a stuffy taxi to make our way to the airport, he leans over at my frowning face with a smile and says, “You know, I think maybe going on vacation isn’t good for you. It’s too hard for you to go back.” He’s right.  As I mentally prepare myself for the “going back” it is always hard.  I sip my last Decaf Venti Iced Nonfat Vanilla Latte {say that fast!} that I ordered in English as I think over my life.

I’ve always known what I would be leaving, moving overseas.  I knew the first time, the time when we filled the big yellow bags to the brim and smiled in front of them, full of energy and excitement saying goodbye to family, friends, and the life we knew.  We were off to begin our adventure, the excitement of new things, the allure of the unknown.

But now, six years later, I know what I am choosing to come back to.  I know how the dog yelps non-stop day after day after day, crowding out my sleep, wearing me down like Chinese water torture.  I know the feeling of sweat dripping constantly down that spot where cleavage would be if I had cleavage.  I know that sinking feeling when the electricity goes off again, and it’s anybody’s guess as to when it might come back on.  I know the smell of the garbage piles on the side of the road, the ickiness of full sewers, and the constant noise of a city too packed onto it’s tiny island frame.

 I know.

And yes, there are the moments where I dream of pulling a Wonderwoman dive out of the taxi and crawling back under the fresh white duvet cover with the remote and watching Cake Boss until I fall asleep.

But then.

Then I remember the why. This life is short, and I want to live it surrendered, not comfortable.

Jennie Allen, in her book, Anything, says, “If we believe that this life is temporary, that belief alone changes how we live it.” I want this temporary life to be one that I can’t live on my own, one that I need His strength for each and every day.  Living in this way brings joy deep down in my soul. My sweet Jesus gave it all for me on the cross. He loves me so intently and He has given me the chance to offer back to Him a life of sacrifice.

And the truth is my life, the messy one, where I have to rely on Him to get me through, is more beautiful than any sea view, any candlelit dinner, or any afternoon spent journaling at Starbucks.  The messy life I have, the one HE chose for me, is far more beautiful than any comfortable relaxing moment I can imagine, because He is in it.

And, now, knowing exactly what I am in for, I choose it all again. 

 

Thanks for visiting! I invite you to subscribe to Grace Full Mama here!

Pic taken by my hubby, Dave. A  big thank you to Mandy from Biblical Homemaking for the cute clothes I am wearing in the pic.
*I understand that Starbucks may be a hot button issue for some of you, but as I live out of the country, I thank you for your grace in respecting my choice to drink some coffee from home.*

Linking up here: The Better Mom, Women Living Well, A Holy Experience, Denise in Bloom, Time Warp Wife, and Raising Homemakers

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  • Laura

    “The messy life I have, the one HE chose for me, is far more beautiful than any comfortable relaxing moment I can imagine, because He is in it.”… that is a really beautiful and hopeful thought!

    i love the hymn “more love to thee O Christ” … once earthly joy i craved, sought peace and rest; now thee alone i seek; give what is best, this all my prayer shall be, more love O Christ to thee…”

    blessings!

    • Joy

      Laura,
      Thanks for your comment. I love that hymn, it is so beautiful. I have a album of Fernando Ortega’s with that song on it. :) Blessings to you!

  • http://profiles.google.com/kellyhallahan Kelly Hallahan

    oh, yes, we’re just in the middle of our first term… one year in one to go… and we had to go back to the states for a wedding. i.was.so.nervous. I didn’t want this trip to sabotage the good transition we’ve made to Uganda. It was great. I drank Starbucks. And we were happy to come home. Praise His name!

    • Joy

      Kelly, I love that. Coming home to the life God has given us brings deep joy, doesn’t it?! I’m so glad that your transition was good!

  • http://twitter.com/stacey29lincoln Stacey29lincoln

    Sweet friend I’m praying for you.

    • Joy

      Thank you sister. Love you and your sweet heart.

  • Shannon N.

    So grateful for your honesty and the reminder of why we here!! Always enjoy!! Praying for your sweet family!!

    • Joy

      Thanks Shannon! Sometimes it is hard to be really honest, but it is always good. :)

  • Leslielovesrichard

    Or Starbucks could be a “cold button issue” depending on you coffee of choice. ;) Thank you for your ever transparency and pointing it all back to Christ.

    • Joy

      Good point. :) Thanks for your kind words.

  • http://twitter.com/MaryB0583 Mary Bonner

    I love this: ” The messy life I have, the one HE chose for me, is far more beautiful than any comfortable relaxing moment I can imagine, because He is in it.” And in a way I can relate because the messy, ugly, painful parts of my life make me who I am and make my life what it is. Does that make sense?

    When you spoke at the Relevant Conference last fall, you touched me deeply. Thank you (& your family) for serving the Lord overseas.

    Enjoy your Starbucks!

    Mary
    http://memyselfandmercy.blogspot.com/

    • Joy

      Thank you dear Mary. Yes, your words make SO much sense. I am who I am because of the struggles, messy, ugly, and painful stuff. I am really so grateful for struggle. :)

  • Ashley

    Such a touching post. This really touched me tonight. I’ve been at a crossroads in my life thanks to a major change coming up soon and this post really helped me keep what is important in mind. Thank you.

    • Joy

      Oh Ashley, I am so glad. I am touched that my words and my struggles could point you to Him. Take care.

  • Amy Tuttle

    yay! the timliness of this post is incredible!
    i am just reintegrating to the joys of the jungle after a two week trip to the states… it was wonderful. but so is here… in its own way. it is a choice, isn’t it? sometimes a very hard choice ;)
    i pray you see the beauty today, joy :)
    with ever so much love,
    amy

    • Joy

      Amy, You get it!! It is a pity that our paths have yet to cross in real life as they seem to cross in so many other ways! :) Yes, yes, yes, it is a choice. One that I have to choose again and again, but I am feel so blessed to live this life.

      • mama T

        actually your paths Have crossed .. at Sarah T 16th birthday party at blue lake..lol

  • Amy Tuttle

    p.s.
    when i say ‘joys’ of the jungle you of all people must know exactly what i mean! ;)

  • Erin Messing

    Yes! Such beautiful truth. Here’s to choosing the messy life He gives us.

    • Joy

      Amen. Thanks for joining me in choosing the messy!

  • Janelle

    I love this post Joy…you are living so sacrificially. You amaze me and the way God is using you amazes me even more! Love you!

    • Joy

      Oh Janelle, I just love you and your sweet heart. :) You are living just as sacrificially where God has placed you, as you serve and minister to those around you! You inspire me!!

      • Janelle

        Thank you sweet friend- you stand out amongst the crowd and I do not say that lightly. I know so many people and there is something very special about you. So thankful God has crossed our paths

  • Lisa

    Your post hits me between the eyes and digs into my heart. We’ve just returned from vacation last night. Reality is hard to return to, but like you, I’d rather live in the messy place of grace than in the contrived peace that goes with escaping. I want real, even if it is more painful. It makes me long more for eternity.

    Blessings,
    Lisa

    • Joy

      I agree Lisa. All of that longing in my heart, I KNOW is my heart longing for eternity. :) Loved to see you over at The Better Mom today!!

  • http://www.encouragingheartsathome.com Misty Krasawski

    Oh, sweet Joy … can I just say I adore you? And I’m on the exact flip side of the fence. 30 years plus I’ve been wanting to go … and it’s not happened yet. I believe we’re closer right now than ever before; have some inklings about it being near-future finally … but it’s so hard for now to WAIT and WAIT and WAIT. You’re a hero; I will soooo be seeking advice from you when I hit my rough patches (which will happen about 3 minutes in, I’m sure!) Anyway, thanks for the reminder, as I need to choose here as long as God is choosing here! Can’t wait to hug your neck and pick your brain a bit one of these days! ;-)

    • Joy

      Oh Misty, don’t adore me! I am so screwed up! :) I totally understand that your choosing here is totally different than mine! The one that has to wait and wait which I know can just be so hard. I am here for advice anytime you need it! I can certainly tell you what NOT to do….from experience! :)

  • Amalia S.

    I was so blessed reading this morning and I pray that you and your family are RICHLY blessed for your choices!…and also that no one would even think about giving you a hard time about your choice of starbucks!

    • Joy

      Thank you Amalia, your words are so very kind. :)

  • Shelley Hitz

    Thank you for sharing! I have been struggling with “choosing here” in a place of transition in my life. It’s actually a very good place that I’m in, but I’ve still had to grieve the changes and it has still been hard. God led me to do a 21 day gratitude challenge which did help my focus. But, it’s a day-to-day choice to keep my focus on Jesus and not my circumstances.

    I wrote about this on my blog here: http://www.christianspeakers.tv/21-days-of-gratitude-will-you-join-me/

    • Joy

      Your challenge is so encouraging Shelley! I appreciate your heart and willingness to choose to be in the hard spot and trust Him in the midst of transition and hard times. Thanks for sharing!

  • bkasm5

    I needed to read this today. We are in the middle of adopting a little boy with HIV from Uganda. I know my family is called to do this. I know it’s going to be hard and i know the stigma that comes from the word AIDS. I also know that i serve a God that enables the called. I long to live a life that is pleasing to Jesus regardless of how uncomfortable in makes me in this temporary life.

    • Joy

      Wow. Wow. Wow. I am praying for you dear sister right now. Thank you for being a beautiful example of following God’s call even when it isn’t easy. That is so encouraging to my heart.

  • Christina

    Each time I see an e-mail from you in my inbox, I become overjoyed (no pun intended)! You truly are living such an inspiring sacrificial life and you inspire others to do the same! It is hard to return to the craziness of life, but knowing that the Lord is with us each step of the way makes it totally worth it! Here’s to longing for eternity! Thanks again for your blog… it is such a blessing!

    • Joy

      Aw shucks! Thank you for your kind words. I am totally undeserving of them as I am just a messed up girl, but I thank you all the same. Yes, here is to longing for eternity!!!

  • Joy

    Thank you Joy! I needed this today as our life begins to shift!!!! Love your words of wisdom that the Lord has given you! You are precious to me from afar!

  • Kanga4200

    Love your honest and eternal perspective:) it was a huge blessing to me today as I head into another no so fun and pretty day of ny reality as wife, Mon, and homemaker. I will remember your inspiring words when I’m daydreaming of alone time at Starbucks sipping my grande nonfat iced white mocha:) God has taught me more about Himself in my reality than in my dreams and “alone time” and that makes it all worth it..what a blessing to be home each day:)

  • http://blessedfemininity.blogspot.com/ Katie

    Beautiful, beautiful post, Joy! Your service and heart for the LORD challenge me so!! Praying for your sweet family as you do His will with joy and obedience. Thank you for loving our Savior and for sharing glimpses of your journey with all of us.

    This post reminded me of one of my favorite hymns, “Not My Will But Thine Lord”….so true!

    Hebrews 6:10! ♥

    Blessings,
    Katie

  • http://thechuppies.blogspot.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

    I’m so thankful you had the time for vacation…and good coffee :)
    And I love the way it created the “choose-it-all-again” moment for you (this time even knowing what you’re going back to).

    Thought of you when reading…anything.
    Love this post Joy!
    Have you read Paul Tripp’s Forever (eternity amnesia)?
    I kept thinking about it all the way through Jennie’s book.

  • Anonymous

    “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:12-13

    It’s not really counting it all loss unless it costs us something. Love you and your willingness to treasure what is truly worthy.

  • Anna Marie

    Dear Joy, I am a mom of 7 daughters ages 24 to 9 who always reads your posts but seldom comments. I read this with tears in my eyes today for several reasons. The first reason is that I am going on my first ever mission trip this coming Sunday. I am taking my 14 yr old daughter to serve in a small village in Guatemala for a week. While those in our church have been excited and supportive of us, there are extended family members who don’t understand why we would go somewhere like that. It will be hot and hard work. But I know He has called us to go to meet not only the physical needs there, but also their spiritual needs.

    But the biggest reason for my tears is that my 24 yr old daughter, Whitney, and son-in-law, Casey, have been called to be full-time missionaries in Jeremie, Haiti beginning in January 2013. My tears are happy tears, full of praise, for I have known for a long time that my daughter wanted to serve on the mission field. Then she met a young man with the same calling and they began to pursue that calling. She has shared with me the mixed reactions she has gotten from friends and family….why would you want to go there, to “give up” everything they have here, why would they leave “them” (their friends)?

    They wrote this response in their support letter: “In the winter of 2011 we evaluated how we were responding to God’s call on our lives. We were underwhelmed. We decided we had to draw a line in the sand. We committed ourselves to be in full-time ministry by 2013, no matter what. God quickly began to honor that.”

    My momma heart is so grateful, so proud, so in awe of the work He is doing in their lives. They are willing to be “uncomfortable” and to “have a messy life” as you wrote, for our precious Savior. Everything else is pale in comparison. They will be returning home several times a year, and I’m sure they will have similar feelings as you did while enjoying their Starbucks. I am going to send her the link to your blog so she can connect with you. They don’t have children yet, but when they do, I am sure she will draw inspiration from you while raising them on the mission field.

    Thank you for always point me & so many others to Christ. You are a blessing!

    In Christ’s love,
    Anna

  • Brandy Gainor

    Oh, Joy, what a good word I need. Coming back is always hard. For me, it usually starts at the airport gate, waiting to board the plane. Grace to you, my friend! Thanks for sharing your heart!

  • Livinasimplelife

    Wow. I don’t really know why but by the time I got to the end of your post I am tearing up. Why? Probably because I really don’t think I would do what you & your family do. I wish deep in my heart that I could honestly say I would give up everything to serve the Lord but I can’t. Maybe I’ve just never felt the great calling you do, or maybe when I do I put in to the back of my mind & can make up 1000 excuses until I don’t feel it anymore.

  • Joy Geaslen

    Good timing for me to read this, since we’re heading to Papua on Saturday and part of me really doesn’t want to leave family, blueberries, nice smells, English, etc.

  • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com womenlivingwell

    Joy Joy Joy!!! Your writing – it takes me places like no one elses – thank – just thank you for your heartfelt honest post! Missionaries are my heroes and this is why! I know you don’t all wear halos but you certainly will have rewards 10 fold in heaven! Keep pressing on sister!!! And keep writing! You inspire like none other!!!
    Love you!
    Courtney

  • http://joytienzo.com/ Joy

    Thank you, this really blessed me. It’s easy to imagine cross-cultural mission as romantic and exciting, because my [limited, short-term] experiences have been. I’m grateful for the reminder that it is messy, and hard, and still so, so worth it. I think wherever we are, if we’re really living the gospel, we exist in a regular state of discomfort, of being not quite home, and of experiencing God’s great and reassuring peace in it.

  • laura

    Wow! Heading back to SE Asia in 8 weeks after a year home to have another baby…
    I’ve been walking through the journey of knowing what I’m going back to as well… So glad that HE is in my life, even on the other side of the world. I call it my beautiful, messy life. grace and peace to you.

  • Marianne

    I love reading your blog. Today, there is such irony as I read, remembering those exact feelings you are describing! But now we are not able to return to the field. We lived in Albania for over three years! So difficult!!! We came off for our furlough to adopt our Little China Boy (LCB) and due to some medical complications (not tragic or anything, just things that need our Western medical doctors) we are for now, back in the USA. It has been 5 years and we are still longing and missing that calling and those people. But we also know we are where we need to be now and are blessed to have a different type of calling to fulfill! Thanks again for blessing me with your words and feelings and encouragement! I am praying for your re-entry!!! I understand!

  • Annette

    Thank you for being so open and sharing so that others can be challenged and encouraged! You are a woman after God’s heart, Joy, and I am thankful for you! I hope God will send you snippets of rest, relaxation, and beauty in unexpected places – right in the midst of your day to day difficulties- right there in Kalimantan! God bless you and your family for following and serving Him!

  • jen key

    Thank you so much for your honesty and Christ focus. This really ministered to my heart in the midst of my messy life:) God is so good and knows what is best for us even when rarely seems easy. Thank you for continually pointing to what really matters in this life. Jesus!

  • Dlbeachy6

    I soooo love this post!!!! I’m a missionary, pilots wife living in Guatemala and I can totally relate to you. Thanks so much for the time you put into your posts, they are often just what I need and thanks too for not cluttering up my inbox with a post every week (lol…I am so busy here, as you are too and this way I can take time to read everyone ) I admire your ability to put your family first and you blog second, that is a huge testimony. God bless you and your family.
    Linda Beachy

  • http://www.CelebrateEveryDayWithMe.com/ Kristen

    So inspiring! Thank you!!

  • Anonymous

    Oh Joy I just love you and your heart. Your transparency is REAL and beautiful…it makes it so easy to learn and grow every single time I read one of your posts. Love you my sweet sweet friend and praying for you every single day.

  • Amanda Mccarver

    My husband and I were missionaries to the south pacific. We are praying for a new work though we are currently residing back in the states. We live only a block from Wal-mart yet with all of the conveniences, we long to do mission work again. Nice article but remember what you are getting such as paychecks of the heart which is what makes one truly happy.

  • Anonymous

    oh, Joy, thank you for being a living example and role model of Christ for us! You are a sweet, lovely blessing and the very manifestation of the Spirit at work here in this place! Thank you for ministering to us over here in the states!! Much love to you sweet sister! :D {and btw I so love that top on you! you’re so very beautiful! :) }

  • Ashley

    One month into our first home assignment after a year and a half on the field in Asia, and this is just what I needed to read! It was such a hard year and a half, and I was terrified that coming home for baby #4 would make me not want to return. But I am back here, enjoying Chick-Fil-A instead of Starbucks, and starting to see that it is true. That messy, difficult, exhausting life over there is so much better than the ease of life here because it sends me to Jesus every moment of every day. Thanks for being so honest. It is hard, and it’s okay to admit that and still praise Him for calling us there!

  • http://twitter.com/JulieSunne1 Julie Sunne

    Bless you for your servant, surrendered heart, Joy!

  • http://rachelmariemartin.blogspot.com Rachel @ finding joy

    Joy, what a beautiful and heartfelt post! Thank you for sharing a bit of you and your heart. You are right, I want to live a life of surrender as well. Thank you for reminding me of the truth!!
    God’s blessings to you.
    Rachel

  • M.S.

    Just had our first hop after only three months in and I found it harder to ‘vacation’ than ever. I was distraught with the hard, messy questions that come out of our work. God gave me a hard and timely word from the Scriptures for what I was feeling: Psalm 37:3: ‘Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.’ I frequently think I must measure my worth by what I DO and what I can see as ‘success’. God is saying, ‘Dwell, be faithful. That’s it.’ He doesn’t need me to save the world. He needs me to (vs. 4) ‘Delight (my)self in the Lord and He will give (me) the desires of (my) heart.’ He will do it. Thanks for sharing so I don’t feel so alone!

  • Rakel Thurman

    Joy….I know. I have been there and in many ways still am…far away from those I consider closest to my heart (after Pat that is)…many days my whole inner person cry…not just little tears, but big chest heaving sobs…and my prayer is always the same….”Lord this is the life I believe you have called me to…and I joyfully respond…and for the moments when it all gets overwhelming…Lord you have to teach me HOW to live fully glorifying you, because I can’t !!”

  • http://www.mercyfoundme.com/ Jacque Watkins

    Thank you for your capativating words and the beauty in which you wrote them. Love just shines through, your love of Him and of embracing the “here” He’s given. I’m purposing to do that too…I choose here. May God bless you and your sweet family!
    Love,
    Jacque

  • Lauren

    I sure do love Starbucks – it’s always nice to enjoy things from home when you’re away. Blessings and thanks for doing God’s work. :) Lauren, lholmes79.wordpress.com

    • Joy

      Thank you!

  • http://sheriprescott.blogspot.com/ Sheri

    Oh Joy, I love your heart, your passion for HIM, and your willingness to bloom where you are planted; for His glory! Your descriptive words and honestly made me feel like I was walking into your home in Indo… All I know is that of all the women on planet earth that God could call to be “right where you are”; He knew what He was doing! You shine, you share, and you bring such glory to His Name, by being the missionary wife and mommy, you are. Thank you for letting your friends peak into that life.

    We are making a very short trip back to the states in the next few months and although I live no-place-like-Indonesia (this summer morning it’s only 50 degrees! Brr!) I’m already praying for my heart when we return. Missing Grandparents and friends, is going to be top on the list for our sweet little ones, too. Please pray that we would “choose the life He’s chose for us!”

    Thanks again, precious Joy! *Hugs*

  • Mandy

    I always look forward to reading your blogs. This one hit home. Our family has been serving in South Korea for 2 years now and are heading back to the states in Sept. We will be home for about 5 months and then returning. I have had mixed feelings about returning, part of me longing to stay in the States, buy a house, live the normal life but then like you I am reminded of God’s call and His sacrifices and though many don’t understand why we would choose to live thousands of miles from our family, I can’t think of where I’d rather be than in His perfect will and doing what He has called us to. Is it always easy, no. But it is worth it all!

  • Anonymous

    So glad I found you on Time Warp Wife. This post was a great way for me to start my morning. I’m not living in the same conditions as you, but my husband and I are in Budapest right now. We used to live and do Christian work her and now (in our 60′s) we come back for 3 months each year to work with some ministries. This trip I pulled my pcl so I’m limping around a city not designed for handicaps and suffering some problems that have caused my hair to fall out…and know so well what you mean about knowing it’s worth it even though life in the States is like Disney Land in comparison. Your conditions are much harder than mine, but I still have a sense of what you mean. Thanks for brightening my morning with these reminders. Bless you! Gail (BibleLovenotes.com)

  • Kristi

    Sweet girl-I know that return :).
    Remembering you as you live deep in the joy of where you are. that He will quiet the dog and quiet our hearts. :)
    Love you!!

  • Kristen

    Beautifully written and said. Thanks for being so vulnerable and honest. We are on home assignment currently as we will begin our 6th year on the field when we return. I know what we will go back to, and it can be so difficult. (I too am enjoying Starbucks while away!) And even so, it is absolutely beautiful to be doing what God calls you (and me and everyone else wherever they are) to do and when he gives you that peace. Years 3 and 4 were the most difficult in my life, and now I feel such a peace about where God has us, as that was my prayer (and even though I still want to complain so many times!). Thanks for your encouragement and painting that picture for us all!

  • Mrsmissionary

    As a missionary on stateside, thank you for reminding us “why”! Storing up treasures in heaven! Great heartfelt words i identify with! Press on sister!
    Allison hosksins

  • Crystalj

    My ‘here’ is very different from your ‘here’.. it’s much easier. But I often get frustrated with the bills, the rental house (the drug dealing neighbors), the drab wardrobe, the trying to feed my family on so little. It’s a struggle with discontentment, really. So thank you for reminding me why.. because He loves me so. And He’s called me to be home with my babes. This is how He wants me to glorify Him. :)

  • http://ourjourneyoffaith.net/ Mama D’s Dozen

    Oh so appreciate your transparency!
    :) :) :)

  • Pingback: A Life of Surrender | Grace Full Mama

  • http://www.redemptionsbeauty.com/ Shelly Miller

    My husband and I were missionaries before we had kids and I know those feelings you describe well, the sacrifice, the laying down, the joy picked up in ways that you can’t imagine. The heavy sigh of return after some rest at home. All of it. You say it well, thank you. And I’m glad you got to enough a little Starbucks btw. ;)

  • Mommybyhisgrace

    Thank you. I also read your next post and thank you for that too! You are right He asks us to sacrifice in so many different ways. Right now He is asking our family to do some sacrificing in blind faith that He indeed does have a plan. He is asking us to lay down “our” dreams for His purposes…not easy. Yet I agree it can be beautiful if we keep ourselves from taking it on alone. Before reading these 2 posts I have been literally having trouble breathing just from the emotional stress of the things going on here. I have never been one to struggle with true anxiety and to tell you the truth up until last night I think I was prideful about that. But when it feels like the enemy of our souls is sitting on my chest suffocating me I realized that I am not in control. Only our Heavenly Father can save me every day from that kind of anxiety. It is not me keeping myself peaceful and at rest. It is Him!!! So to read these posts this morning has helped me to breath a little deeper and to once again give it to the One who sees all and who does indeed love me. Keep being open and honest, this ministry you have is a bigger blessing then you will ever know. I know one day in eternity many women will be so excited to hug you and say thanks.

  • http://missionalmamassoul.blogspot.com/ Missional Mama

    I can really relate to this post!

  • http://reapingjoy.com/ Becky Snearly

    I love this reminder: “This life is short, and I want to live it surrendered, not comfortable.”
    So do I… I think:)

  • Amy Jo

    Hey Joy,
    I love this post. I have to tell you, though, it grieves me beyond belief that you have to ask for grace from readers who may have issues with you having a Starbucks coffee. God fogive us all for propelling our personal preferneces onto the lives of others and judging them when they don’t meet our artificial standard.

    I think it is awesome that you were able to enjoy Starbucks! And I would love to spend a day watching Cake Boss with you!!

    “Love God and do whatever you want.”
    ~Martin Luther

    I know that some may completely not understand that quote, but something tells me that you will get it completely:-)

  • http://memoirsofmissionarymom.blogspot.com/ Momandmissioanry

    Thanks for sharing your heart Joy to serve Jesus even when it’s hard and downright uncomfortable. Love and blessings.
    Susan

  • http://MemoirsofaMissionaryMom.blogspot.com/ Momandmissionary

    Thanks Joy for sharing your heart about willing to give up little comforts to follow Jesus and be where He has called you to be.
    Love, Susan

  • lotsofscotts.blogspot.com

    This is so beautiful. It’s funny. I am living the life you describe…fluffy duvets, fancy coffees and I want to run away and serve in a smelly crowded place without all the trappings. In my discontented mind, it would be so much ‘easier’ for me to serve when all the trappings were removed. I have been on short term trips to third world countries for ministr. I realize how ridiculous it must sound…but the drama and commercialism that I BUY INTO EVERY DAY are my smelly garbage and chaos. But, really, its just an excuse that allows me to get sucked in and not be that different than my culture. So your post spoke to me too….of not longing for God to move me, but choosing HERE…to bloom in this place where God has planted me…to be in THIS but not of this…even as I look longingly at the story God has written for you. Blessings!!

  • http://twitter.com/MercyINK Lauren Mills

    Joy, I am so loving this precious space of yours! You speak to my heart :) thank you for all of your encouragement

  • Emily S

    Joy, I am so encouraged by your blog. I’m a wife living overseas and in a few days I’ll be visiting the States. It is so good to be reminded that God has placed us here for a reason and purpose and I want to live it surrendered to Him, knowing that His plan is far greater than anything I could choose (or even imagine) for myself. I need the reminder that I too would choose it all again. Thank you for being honest and sharing some of your life (and heart) with us. -Emily

  • http://gospelhomemaking.com/ Amy Clark Scheren @ Gospelhome

    “I want this temporary life to be one that I can’t live on my own, one that I need His strength for each and every day.” Wow! I needed to hear that today. I need to think of that every day! Thanks so much for sharing your heart!

  • Heidi Hinnenkamp

    Yet another post that hits my heart. Guess God wanted me to meet you (sort of) today. Like you, I heard that whisper to give my life to missions, but here I am 27 married, 5 mo old baby and God still has me home in Minnesota, not the life I thought, but thankful for it nonetheless. I email missionaries, I go up and meet them after they share somewhere and I search for their honesty- like I have found in you today. I’m in the “missions seems such a glamorous adventure” phase because I have yet to be sent somewhere not so glamorous for longer than 2 weeks. I see you have lots of followers but any insight you may have on that would be appreciated or forward me to a post you already wrote. Thanks Joy (that’s my middle name btw).