Saturday, February 25, 2012

stuck at home

For two weeks, I was stuck at home. I literally left twice. Both times, taking the boys to the doctor. The boys got sick with bronchitis. Brian was in the states for the Josiah Venture board meeting and missionary training for new JV missionaries. Without going into to all the drama, I'll just say it was a hard two weeks for me. Sick kids, husband gone, below zero degree weather. I must say that I did have a lot of help--someone picked up and brought Cece home from preschool every single day. People came to help me with bedtime several nights and even brought me meals. Truly, I experienced community with those around me that I love so dearly.

I'm not sure about you, but in situations like the past two weeks, the world becomes very small to me. I become just a tad ego-centrical. It's just me and God in the world, and I'm not sure why He's not fixing all my problems. I also really struggle with feeling stuck with my kids while Brian is off "having all the fun serving". Now, I don't think I need to say that I love my kids (check out the last 100 posts), but that's just how I was feeling. Some of that feeling is okay--some of that feeling is skewed. But, that's probably for another post.

Then, I finally broke free. I found some babysitters, and I escaped. I went to up to the Advance conference, which Brian helps to plan and run. Advance is a movement in JV to plant healthy, reproducing churches in Central and Eastern Europe. What I love about the direction that JV and those on the Advance team have decided to go is gospel communities on mission (you can read a blog post I wrote where I interviewed Dan Hash about last year's conference here, and you can read more about gospel communities on mission here).

So, I got to the conference this year, and I started listening to a national pastor speak who is from Slovakia. He has planted several churches in his country. As he shared about the challenges of church planting that he had personally faced, suddenly my world started getting bigger. He talked about how each city in Central and Eastern Europe has a unique history. A history that the church needs to deal with. In one city where he helped plant a church, him and others felt strongly that the city needed to repent when it came to how they had dealt with Jews. They held a special event where they celebrated Jewish history and publicly confessed and asked forgiveness for that city's history.


I also had the privilege of hearing Tim Chester speak, who is a part of the movement in the UK called the Crowded House. Tim spoke about the Holy Spirit and discipleship. Discipleship is an important emphasis for Josiah Venture. Because we firmly believe that simply planting churches isn't enough--people must be discipled. Two things that Tim said really stuck with me. He said, "we do not need a discipleship manual. What can be better than the gospels for knowing how to disciple someone?" He also said, "the Holy Spirit is a better discipler than you are." He went so far to say something like this: (I didn't write this all down, so I don't want to say it's an exact quote) if someone has a relationship with Jesus Christ and has surrendered his/her life to Christ, if that person is walking in the Spirit, submitting oneself to the Word of God, then, that person can do whatever he/she wants. Now, he was careful to explain this in the context of the scripture that he was teaching on (which I also forgot to write down). His point was this--there is freedom in Christ. Discipling people is about helping people know how to live in the Spirit, which is a FREEING experience. Why? Because when you love God and fall more and more in love with him, sin becomes less and less attractive.


So, how does this blog post remain entitled--stuck at home? Because I realized a few things by simply getting out of my house for four hours. First, I need to get out of the house more. Duh? Right! Also, I need to trust God more, with so many things. I also need some prospective--it's not all about me.

Oh, dear Lord, forgive me for making it about me. I want to be used by you in all seasons of life, but not because it feels good to be important, but because I want to serve you in whatever ways I can! 

Also, I need to rely more on the Holy Spirit. Let me be honest, this is a season of life where I feel a lot of passion for so many different things, but I have limited capacity. That's just my current reality. However, if I rely on the Holy Spirit to disciple those around me that I love, I may be part of what God is wanting to do, but I'm not responsible for it.

(Look, I made the picture--blue shirt, right side.)

(The three faces you can see are Latvian nationals who came down from the conference to have tea with me; I just met them, and I love them.)

(Here is Dan Hash, who is heavily involved in Advance. This is the same face he made at me 10 years ago when he told me to stop flirting with Brian and start doing ministry at an English camp in Poland.)

(Here is my dear friend Jola, from Poland, who came to conference for the day and did some translating.)


I also remembered why I am so glad we are serving here--mostly, how proud I am of Brian. That's not meant to sound trite. When I am at home, it's easy to start thinking that my life would be just a tad easier if I lived say in Charlotte, NC (which is so ironic, because when I lived there, I wanted to live over here. Yes, I continue to be convicted about my "grass-is-greener" mentality). It was so good for me to look around at these leaders and hear about what they are doing in their countries and to feel like Brian and I are a part of that, albeit, a small part, in my case.


  1. you see, whether in Poland, or in the states, or in Africa, it's easy to believe the LIE that the enemy feeds us that the grass is greener. With His power we can be joyful, in our stranded mommy state. I totally feel ya sister. And, thanks for sharing! With His strength we will make it through! and yes- chosing to be proud of our husbands is a choice He would be pleased by. I feel a "well done good and faithful servent" is in line for you my dear. love!

  2. aleisha, wish i had gotten the chance to know you better... maybe the Lord will still allow that to happen someday. i really appreciated your honest & your thoughts about being 'stuck' at home. going from single missionary => mommy missionary with baby (and another one on the way) is different. i've been wanting to read 'the ministry of motherhood'... mainly because i know that's where the Lord has me for the next 'chapter' of life here in Poland. blessings to you! ~ krista

  3. So glad you made it up there! And, it was an absolute blast to hang out for a few hours with you. Love you!

  4. Oh Aleisha, You and I are kindred spirits. I have been so frustrated at myself this past week as well. I spent I don't know how many weeks walking in the total unknown and completely trusting in God with our house on the market, it selling, not knowing where we were going to live, etc. Then after we moved into our new house last weekend (a total gift from above), I lost all perspective. I became very ego-centric. Last night I had a massive breakdown with God and Brian and today's sermon was further conviction. I feel renewed. I love your honesty and it is so good to know I am not the only one. Miss you. Cannot wait to see you!