Plans for the near future and Praise

Writing from a cozy chair in Matt’s brother’s kitchen (in Atlanta, Georgia), which means we’re not in Brazil yet (more details below)……


Praise was the theme of the day today (or yesterday, by the time I finish this).  In church this morning, Psalm 148 was preached on…

Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights.  Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created.He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:  Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word:Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:  Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:  Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:

Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. (v.1-13)


We heard Louie Giglio speak this afternoon.  He shared the start of his struggle with anxiety a few years ago, how so many difficult situations were all happening at the same time–situations that were out of his control–and that what helped bring him out of the deepest part of it was learning to worship God in the dark moments, to praise Him for WHO HE IS.  God gave him a song to sing back to the Lord in praise during the night (v.8) when the ‘cloud’ would descend on him–

8 By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me
a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.   (Psalm 42)

Louie talked about how sometimes all the ‘stuff’ that is going on that sinks us into the anxiety/depression pit becomes all we talk about.  This resonated, as I’ve felt lately that that’s alot of what I do when talking to someone–recount the list of things not going right at the present. It was so freeing to be reminded that praising the One who created us all and who is so worthy of it, especially when I don’t feel worshipful, is exactly what I need to do.  Because doing so changes my heart–maybe not immediately–but it does, and the joy and thankfulness for all that is GOOD and RIGHT in my life, not to mention the sacrifice my Savior made for me on the cross, overwhelms me and overflows.  Praise the Lord.

A quick summary for those that might not know, and the reasons behind what I typed above:  we’re not in Brazil yet, much to the dismay of my husband.  We are a mixture of sad/frustrated/anxious/happy to enjoy one more fall & Christmas in the states.  It’s hard when you make plans that you feel are God directed and they don’t quite turn out like you expect.  On the flipside,  Luke spent two days raking leaves without being asked last week & enjoyed every minute of it 🙂

We had tickets bought for last Thursday the 25th, but due to multiple paperwork delays in getting our visas applied for, and the length of processing time once they are finally applied for, we did not have them when needed.  Sooo…we cancelled our tickets (same fee as changing the dates), received a credit from the airline, and will be purchasing new tickets once we have a better handle on how long the processing should actually take.

United States citizens entering Brazil require a visa stamp in their passports.  On past trips we’ve received a tourist visa with no trouble, however, this time we will be going on a ‘Temporary Religious Visa’, which requires more paperwork, that must be processed more extensively on our end before ever submitting it.  We’re working with an expediter, which helps, but it still has been a long process.  If you really want ALL the details (which I’m pretty sure you don’t 🙂 , just ask (and find a comfortable chair).  We were officially submitted to the Consulate on Oct. 1st, and they estimate 8-12 weeks processing time.  With a group of 6, we are anticipating the latter.  So our new projected leave date is Dec. 28th, and we are praying tickets aren’t going to be wildly more expensive.

I’ve done a poor job of updating lately (Matt has maybe reminded me that I need to post something, oh, 6 or 8 or 10 times :)–partly because so much was up in the air for awhile that the only thing we knew for sure was that things were not going to happen like we thought, and then it all just got crazy.  About the same time we realized we were NOT going to get our visas on time to leave Oct. 25th, we found out Matt’s mom needed to have major brain surgery to remove a tumor.    Within days of realizing all this, we found out a small rental house we own had been extensively damaged.  This was the house that, the day before, we thought we  were going to live in since we were now going to be stateside for a couple more months.  This was the house that Matt spent our first two weeks back in Illinois working on (after completing training in Colorado).  We moved in, with all borrowed furniture, almost two weeks ago.  Our kids were glad to have a place to call ‘ours’ again.  Then we realized we had fleas–leftover fleas because we don’t have any pets–and this is round 2 of that whole experience for us.  And then we learned Matt’s mom needed a second surgery to remove the entire tumor, which they were unable to do–leaving a few cells on the brain stem.  It is an aggressive tumor, so the next step may be radiation.  So from that aspect, it was good to not have to make the decision last week–do we go/do we wait, it was already made for us.  Getting back into homeschooling after starting over the summer and taking a break to move and travel (we have been in  14 states in the past 4 months).  And so it goes…and why today was so what I needed….


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