I want to try and be more intentional with remembering what is happening and what has happened in our lives. This will be updated from the “welcome” page each month from http://www.sejanashines.com.
Well a lot has happened for me and I assume a lot has happened for you as well thus far in 2020. This year sure has been interesting, right?? One thing I have held onto in my times of transition and change in this season is that verse from Isaiah 43:19 ESV “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Wait a minute… how can there be a RIVER in the DESERT? Did you notice that? I remember when I first realized this verse said that. I was reminded that God is able to make a way even when it defies logic. God will do whatever He set out to do and I also realized last month through several circumstances that I want to join God in it. Whatever He is doing- I want to join God in it. That means I need to be open to seeing where He is at work. It might be in an unlikely place, through an unlikely conversation, and in a way that challenges what I always thought before. I hope to share more specifics in the future so stay tuned and we shall see.
I didn’t publish a monthly “September” update, but I have posted throughout on FB and IG. These past several weeks have been mostly behind the scenes off-the-record conversations with many people about sensitive topics like: racial tensions, women in ministry, denominational differences, politics and difficulties in leadership. These conversations have been so enriching to me in my growth and understanding as a leader and a Christian. One major realization for me recently has been the importance of being able to LISTEN and HEAR the people or person that is before me- even if I disagree – I want to be known as a person that listens while continuously being led by the Holy Spirit and staying connected to Jesus. It seems obvious that I’d operate like this, right? Well, sometimes we can get priorities mixed up and begin to focus on the wrong things even if they are very good things. I’m still sorting this all out so pray for me if you would as I continue on this #journeywithGod.
We did move safely from Daegu, South Korea to Central Texas but we are still in temporary housing, the children are still not enrolled in a school and our things from Korea are in transit. Despite these things that come with a #militarymove, I am thankful for my one-of-a-kind family that I love, resources to have a decent place to stay, a car to drive, food to eat and because of years of networking and God’s providence – connection with like-minded friends for questions and local help. We didn’t know what to expect before moving here but I must say, my husband and I are pleasantly surprised with the hospitality of strangers and all the #covid19 precautions they are taking here as a whole in Texas. Actually being here in person does provide a different reality than watching and reading about things on the news online from afar.
Feel free to reach out if you need help navigating my site. I hope to whittle it down to the essentials one day in the future but it pretty much looks like my life – cluttered and unfinished! God and I continue to work on these things though. It’s a constant struggle.
This month means it’s our last month here in South Korea (unless something changes), hosting IF:Lead2020 the weekend of August 15th, and my children starting school in person here on Camp Walker in Daegu.
I’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes encouraging AND listening for the past several weeks. Parenting, leadership experiences, interceding in prayer, and continuing the routines that work for me have been instrumental to the peace that we enjoy here in our home. I know there is a lot, A LOT, going on in the world and within our own selves. I don’t think we can make it through these times alone and we don’t have to. I love this verse Hebrews 10:23-25, ‘Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. ‘
I’m excited about what God is doing in and through His people all around the world! This blog is a storehouse of articles from my journey. Take a look around. May something here encourage you as you continue on yours. Come say ‘hi’ on FB or IG if you want to see what I’m up to. Have a good one.
Still not done with revamping this blog but time marches on! I can’t believe it is already JULY! We are done with half of 2020 already! When I recap major events from the year, I remember starting off 2020 in Cambodia with my family. Even though our visit there drastically changed right before leaving, I could see that God’s hand was definitely at work in the midst of everything. Here is one blog from that time. https://sejanashines.com/2019/12/25/unexpected-journey/ I also made the difficult decision to change churches, hosted IFGathering2020, went online to boldly share the gospel for 30 episodes with my children for the “Coronavirus Bible Study” as they continued their remaining school year (Feb – Jun) online. Later I started going back to church (still wearing masks and using other safety precautions) and continued to live this life thanking God for each day that He gives my family and I here on Earth, currently in Daegu, South Korea! I’ve been watercoloring and writing these past several weeks instead of playing guitar and singing. It seems I can’t juggle all of my personal interests equally even though I try. As I continue to make the most of my days, I’ve been making steps in strengthening relationships with my extended family (sometimes “meddling too much” according to my husband), praying about and working on conflict & reconciliation with others and asking God to help me to know how to REALLY love others just as He loved and gave up Himself for me. It has NOT been smooth sailing as you can probably imagine. However, I’m still thankful for these opportunities and these lessons because that means there is still a chance to learn, to hear, to understand and to possibly experience restoration in my relationships. I want that and each day is another opportunity to take steps towards making things right with God and people. It is not easy. But it is worth it (to me). This is also my birth month! So, Happy Birth-month to me!! Come say hi on FB or IG if you want to see what I’m up to. Have a good one.
There has been so much going on in the world and especially in my home country, America, so I’ve been doing a lot of watercolor and praying and having conversations with family and friends about difficult things. Some of this journey is posted on my social media where I post more often than my blog that’s for sure! (I’m just now updating this blog on 12 June!) Connect via my FB Page https://www.facebook.com/sejanashines/or IG page https://www.instagram.com/sejanashines/. Bear with me as I figure out the focus of this blog. I know I am moving in a certain direction and I’ve been working on it by sharing stories about my past- good and bad- with a few people privately. I’m excited for what clarity that is bringing to what I can offer to you. Last month, we were able to start going back to church IN-PERSON and that really has blessed me so much. I kinda talk about that in this post as I also shared about my personal background with photos here at God is responding to racism in my life. Other big things that happened in May were: Interview by US Army Chaplain Morris for “Faith Strong” series. Mentoring focus. Lost my kids on a mountain. Racial tensions conversations one made public and others not. Making a decision to say ‘no’ to a ministry opportunity turned out to be very hard for me to do but that just happened. The children are officially on summer break so we talked about goals for the summer. Finally, my husband pointed out that we are at 3 months left here in Korea (WOW) unless something gets changed due to #covid19. That is A WHOLE LOT. And that’s only the bigger things. But I’ve found that whatever we do and say and think about each and every day is what keeps us going in a certain direction. It is my prayer that this content is helpful to highlight to you (and to help me to remember) the realness of God and that He cares a whole lot about your (our) everyday thoughts and actions as well as your (my) eternal destination.
Thank you for joining me in this journey!
Last month we ended our “Bible Time & Worship” videos at 30 episodes! That is amazing and when we started I had no idea it would go on that long. It was a great online ministry that I will leave online (and on YouTube) in hopes that God will continue to use it to draw others to him. I also had an opportunity to go online with a friend as we talked about “being ready.” Some of the things we talked about caused me to finally clean up my area instead of complaining about it. That’s the kind of change that happens when we involve God and sometimes even others into our lives. I want to continue to share my life with you if it helps you to move forward. Pray with me as I spend dedicated time to figure out what this may look like but until then I’m continuing to do the best that I can, with what I know, in the place(s) where God has put me. I’d love to have more communication with you and to know what is helpful for you so let me know by leaving your comments or questions along the way. I plan to share about the various things going on with me because I know that God is in the midst of all of these things. I just finished my TEFL training, restarting my small group Bible Study (now online) today, and continuing the journey with clutter, family fitness, watercolor, and ‘refining my story.’ May is also our anniversary month and I thank God for the (almost) 13 years of marriage together! There is so much going on that I want to share with you but at the root of it all is a strong foundation of trust and intimacy with my Lord and Savior. I continue to make modeling and prioritizing this relationship with God to my children as I believe this is most important for them (and anyone) to learn.
Join the journey with me!
This month we look forward to ‘Spring Break’ from online schooling for my children here in Daegu, South Korea. We also look forward to the remembrance and celebration of the events leading up to Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection! I want to help others (including my children) to know what Jesus’ actions on the cross meant for us in our day to day lives as well as for eternity. He is our living hope in which we can have true peace and joy no matter the circumstance because the Lord is faithful. I pray this content can help you get to know Him or be encouraged to continue to share His light and Truth from where you are to this watching, waiting world. Please say hello and leave your comments or questions and I’ll get back to you.
When our military community here in Daegu, South Korea, responded to the news of a cluster of individuals testing positive for the Coronavirus by advising us to stay indoors, I saw the different responses of people. Even those who professed Christ were shaken probably because we cannot control it, we don’t understand it, and it is interrupting our day to day life. I see this as a great opportunity to share the HOPE of Jesus to a world watching and searching online for answers. May you find the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He has a name – His name is Jesus. I have been recording daily messages via Facebook Live at NOON (Daegu time) Monday – Friday and sharing them here each day as “Bible Time & Worship.” I hope it encourages you. Go here for those messages under https://sejanashines.com/2020/03/07/bible-time-worship-every-episode-summary/.