Have you ever made plans to do great things but they don’t seem to work out? I know I’m notorious for that. I’ve learned not to tell too many people about the many ideas going on in my head, because then I’d feel bad if I didn’t follow through or it just never worked out. But, now- today on this last day of 2018, I feel like I need to tell you something. Here in South Korea, where I am living currently thanks to the US Army, we have 45 minutes until this year is done. I meant to take time to think about this year from January through now and reflect on all that went on. I knew that SO MUCH has happened and I probably wouldn’t remember it all so in my mind I thought I would either use my Google Calendar to click-through the past year and see what we did (I did a pretty great job this year keeping up with updating it. It’s pretty much second nature now). And also I thought I would go through the tons of photos backed up on my hard drive for the year. (Of course there is just WAAAAAAAYYYYY too much to have it all stored on my phone’s additional memory card. I mean really, I do really need a better way to go through these tons of photos and videos that document our days… please does anyone have a method that works for them? Please share!!
Anyway, so the bottom line is that I didn’t get around to going through either of those things. And with so many other more pressing things on my list to do, it’s probably just not going to happen. No, not with 2019 right around the corner!!! —sigh— Better to do something NOW and then START FRESH next year. Right? Right. ugh.
BUT, let’s not dwell on what DIDN’T happen today and instead can I share with you what did?
Open my home; open my heart
I made plans to invite people over today! It was kinda prayed about to have an opportunity to share Christ with my family who does not share the same beliefs as I do. God presented an opportunity for a Korean friend to come over again (for the THIRD time!) during my relative’s visit. My family wanted to meet her son and so I also extended the invitation to her husband too. Why not? I hope that our husband’s would get along and can form a friendship perhaps. And then for good measure, I believe God brought to my mind a single Soldier whom I invited at the last-minute and thankfully, she was able to come too. I say thankfully because normally she would be busy but today, she wasn’t!
I LOVE hosting. I LOVE having people over in the kitchen, helping out, eating food and just having a relaxed time together.
Do you know what else I LOVE? Worship! I love music! We discovered in conversation the hobbies of a few of us at the table. And then I heard that my friend’s husband plays the keyboard, bass and guitar. Guess who happened to have a keyboard in the other room, begging to be played? Yours truly. I hopped up to plug it in and turn it around and he reluctantly (at first) played some tunes.
But then after that, my family wanted to hear ME also play the guitar (also just sitting there). To tell you the truth, I hadn’t picked it up since leaving for Cambodia and so I was feeling pretty rusty. But my family kept going on and on and I didn’t want the party to end so I scrambled around to find my gear (music, a plug because the device I use for my music died, my capo, a pick) was all over the place. Read more about the guitar here.
But I finally got it together, went off to the hallway to tune the guitar (and then I could hear family making comments “come out!” “Is she shy?” and then my friend said “no, she is just tuning” – which they didn’t understand what she meant because they repeated the comment again, “she must be shy” LOL those non-musical folks tisk tisk). Well anyway, I’m thankful that I had a playlist that said “acoustic worship” on it that I created to play songs I hoped to record and share with the public one day. I’m thankful for pre-made worship sets created on this free app (read here about paperless gadgets!) that I have stored and work from because at times like this, your mind (if it’s like mine when being put on the spot) goes blank and I can think of nothing. Nothing at all. So thank you Piascore!
I ended up choosing “Breathe” by Marie Barnett and then “Simple Gospel” by United Pursuit. My friend recorded part of the first song, I’m only sharing it to show (as proof LOL) that you don’t need much to worship the Lord. All you need is the willingness to boldly declare His Name in front of whomever and respond with His Truth whenever and wherever He presents an opportunity. Pray for those opportunities. You never know what He is doing and so may you just be obedient and responsive as He works things out through you. (It is my hope – I am seriously excited about this!!!! – that I can plan some times of at – home worship with fellow musicians and anyone else interested in coming together in 2019 to praise the Lord!)
Unfortunately, I don’t have a fairy tale ending to close this summary of our time together today to share with you right now. No one new in our home has yet to come forward to ask why Jesus died on the cross for sinners and if they were indeed a sinner (the answer is YES, according to the Bible see Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8). No one new yet has declared that they wanted to turn from their ways, accepting Jesus’s free gift of Salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16, Romans 6:23) and live instead putting Christ first. So this hasn’t happened yet, but only the Lord ………………..
***** unexpected 20 minute break *****
and now it is officially 2019!!
My husband came on over to me at 11:53pm and so I closed the computer. I’m happy to have brought in the New Year with my family. I am reminded that at this time last year, we were all sleeping together in the living room, but in Virginia. We had said goodbye to our first youngest and longest staying foster (respite) child with undiagnosed autistic-like tendencies that took a lot out of each of us. When he cried as he was getting picked up by his new full-time foster parents, my heart broke. I can still remember how I felt at that time… but how must HE have felt? He didn’t know what was going on; he was so little.
In that time, just one year ago at this time, I remember that THAT was the time I discovered how great my husband could be and that we definitely made a great team when it came down to it. 🙂 Even after being married already 10 years by then, the trials we faced with this specific little one caused a much deeper level of respect and appreciation from me towards my husband at that time. #GodknowswhatHeisdoing
God has a plan (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Hmm. I guess I did reflect a little bit. It is a little late and it’s not encompassing the entire 2018 year, but I guess it’s what important and it’s what God brought to mind right now. I thank you God for my life, for my family, for my friends old and new and for those in foreign lands. I am grateful for each story, each opportunity to come together and eat at the table and sing praises of your Great Name. Even to those who have yet to really know you… I thank you for those people, including those in my family, whom you love and I love. I trust in You to show me and lead me in how to share You with them. I don’t know where or how each decision I make will turn out but I DO know and trust that in ALL things, Emmanuel, God with us. God is here with me and He is here waiting for a closer relationship with you. I hope you consider this invitation!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Read more about Foster Care here: https://sejanashines.com/category/foster-care/
Read more about Spiritual Growth here: https://sejanashines.com/category/spiritual-growth/
Take a look around and leave me a message – private or public. Let me know your thoughts! I’d love to make time and shine His light on whatever I can for you, if I am able. Thank you.