Jan 20, 2015

hard times

How is it going?????

I thought marriage was going to be one of the hardest and most rewarding journeys I ever willingly chose to embark on. At least that is what I was told before committing my life to Shawn. I still love him dearly and he makes doing life with easy, fun and enjoyable. He is so good to me and such a godly inspiring man. I love that I am completely spoiled by his love for Christ and our family. 

But, I would say, as of right now, the most difficult journeys in life that I willingly chose to embark on was coming on the mission field. Mission life and being on the front lines is a real thing. The battle is real!

The battles are intense! But I love the person that these difficulties are molding me to be. I would not trade these difficulties for a thing!!!! And I mean that!!!!! :) These hard times bring me so close to Jesus and a dependency on Him, that I absolutely love. 

Lately, I have not been fighting my emotions or the enemy of darkness like I should or want to. I have been feeling unmotivated, sad, blah, tired, in a rut to name a few.... Here was a challenging and encouraging reminder for me.

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger :)

Did I you know that one of Satans favorite tools to whip you around and trip you up is negative emotions?

He loves to use negative emotions to mess you up!

He'll use ...
-Fear to terrorize you and paralyze you
-Resentment and jealousy and envy to ruin relationships
-Bitterness, worry and anxiety to keep you stuck in a rut

Satan will use any and all negative emotions to keep you down and prevent you from fulfilling Gods great plan for your life.

That's why it's so important to learn how to manage your emotions because if you don't control them they will control you.

And when you're controlled by your emotions, it is so easy to miss Gods purpose and Gods plan for your life.

Zachariah 4:6
Not by might, not by power, but by my strength says the Lord.

When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He fills you with Galations 5:22 :)
Just like a tube of toothpaste. When you put pressure on it, peanut butter doesn't come out, NO! What is inside comes out :) when the world puts pressure, what comes out of us???

Most times God uses our greatest pains to use and those become our greatest ministries.

ie: language=just one of my weaknesses

Lord, I pray, please use this weakness of not being able to speak the Slovene language well, to bring my friends to know you and to have a personal relationship with You. Amen

Thanks to Rick Warren for this challenge to me this morning :)

Nov 11, 2014

Praying each of my kids get this.

What do godly girls want in a guy? What do godly guys want in a girl?
Great question and I think I have the answer. 
Here is a well written blog and I fully agree with it...

Naturally,  I started to write out a list of requirements such as “passionate” “honest” “sincere” etc. but the more I started to write, the more I doubted myself.
I mean, how on Earth is it humanly possible for me to speak for the godly female population?
Not all godly girls want a man who desires to be a preacher and be a pastor’s wife. Not all godly girls want an introverted poet who can lead worship like an angel. Not all godly girls want to marry a missionary and travel the world.
So what do all godly girls want?
(Because let’s be real, we really don’t know what we want most of the time and that’s the truth. We might think we know exactly what we want but then someone shows up and completely confuses us and throws off our “logic”.)







So know that there is nothing you can do to take His place.
However, if we believe you are a man who will make us more effective in living out God’s personal calling in our life, we will be drawn to you.
If we believe you will speak Jesus’ words to us, we will be drawn to you.
If we believe you will point us to Jesus when we are confused or heartbroken or in sin, we will be drawn to you.
Does that mean we will want to marry you? Not necassarily. And that’s okay!
Just know if it is God’s will for you to marry a girl, God WILL lead you to a marriage that will make you more Holy and therefore more happy. You might have to live life with a few godly girls before you meet the one you will marry, but that’s good!
Investing in relationships in healthy ways with people who inspire you to be more like Jesus can only make you more Holy. Is this not what us godly people want? If it isn’t, shouldn’t it be?
Stop caring so much about being “a better spiritual leader” or a better “speaker” or a better “gentleman” or  “more sincere.”
It’s not about being the coolest or most attractive.


Quit trying to be the perfect boyfriend. Quit trying to be her god.


Throw away the lists and JUST ABIDE.
Because when you run after Jesus, all those things will come naturally to you.
Heck, its not even about getting a girlfriend in the first place!
You are focusing on the fruit and not the vine!


This goes for everyone.
Notice that in Galatians 5, it says the fruit of the spirit —>IS<—  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It is a package deal. They are not separate entities.
Abide in Jesus with everything you have and you will start to look more like Him. :)
A godly girl will be doing the same thing.
We tend to complicate this so much.



So there’s the answer you’ve been waiting for :)


Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Oct 25, 2014

answered prayer / marriage counselors

I was stressed out knowing I said yes to host a couple here who I didn't know. A very last minute thing. I guess this is a normal thing for me, to get stressed out I mean. We only have single beds! Not exactly ideal for couples.  I didn't know them at all! I didn't even know if they were going to be American or European. Would they speak English or not? They weren't Slovene so I knew they didn't speak my second language  
BUT... I am so SO SOOOooooo encouraged right now.
God really does answer prayer! One of my prayers was so quiet and faint, my own heart hardly heard my prayer, though I know I asked.
"God, can you send a couple that would give Shawn and I some marriage counseling?"

Not that Shawn and I are struggling at all. Two years ago, we had our first marriage counseling ever. (OK, besides pre-marital counseling). This one was actually required for all JV Missionary couples! JV knows how valuable strong marriages are to ministry. I remember talking with Shawn before our session of what topic we're going to talk about. We walked up to the table feeling a bit awkward. We had no idea! We sat down with the wise older couple across the table and began by saying we weren't sure what to talk about. It was our first time to a counselor, we told them. And we proceeded to share how strong our marriage is. But that day, God challenged our marriage to go even deeper, to be even stronger, to not just survive, but to thrive. They asked very deep and challenging questions and this day -forever- will remain as a launching pad for an even STRONGER / HEALTHIER marriage.

Though we do have, I believe, a very strong marriage, can't we continue to grow and have an even stronger marriage? Just like our relationship with Jesus can always go deeper, so I believe our marriage can as well.

Well this day was a little different. Shawn and I have been going around and around on a particular subject for quite some time. Months actually. And this week the same subject was brought up. "I'm hurt", I told Shawn. As I started to cry. This same feeling keeps coming up when you say this to me. "I don't know why you feel hurt when I say that. It's not meant to hurt you", he says. Ugh, but it hurts, and I wish it didn't. So around and around we go. I can tell I am looking through the pink glasses and him the blue. I'm trying hard to understand, but can't. He's trying, but can't. We are trying to solve this, but can't seem to.

If only we had an outside perspective. Maybe we need a counselor to talk us through this. 

"God, can you send a couple that would give Shawn and I some marriage counseling?" I prayed.

And God sent me the answer these last two days with this Serbian couple. They stayed with us. Talked with us. Spent two nights here. We prayed together. And they shared a bit of the journey God has brought them on with us. I was so challenged to give God even more trust... He is good... and knows all things.
He is El Shaddai ( a word I am studying this week for youth group )

None of us knew what God was going to do. None of us knew the life long blessing they would leave behind in my heart and memory. They encouraged us in so many ways! And my very specific prayer was answered in the most incredible way.

This couple was planned to stay with a different family while here in Slovenia. Then I let out a faint prayer to God. I prayed to have counseling. At that moment, I can imagine, the planned host family canceled (because God redirected the couple to us). Our pastor called to see if we could host them minutes after I prayed. I didn't connect my prayer with the phone call yet :) But that evening, they came, sat at the table with us and I asked what they do for a job. 

"We are marriage counselors", they said.

And the thing I don't want to forget... they said we are a wrapped tightly together, holding on to the Lighthouse of this city. Thank you Jesus for an encouraging visit and answered prayer!

Jun 13, 2014

Let Christ be your Satisfaction

My challenge today from a friend :)

May God work in our hearts to give us hearts wholly devoted to Him, hearts that find their worth and identity in Christ, and hearts that are filled to the max with His joy and satisfaction.

Why chase after something that we can never get enough of and that will never satisfy?

Let us passionately pursue God Who is eager to let us embrace and enjoy Him. With Him is full satisfaction and rest rather than a constant striving after vanity.

Wrestling with insecurity? Harboring rejection?

Choose by faith to break the chains of seeking man’s approval.

Anchor your faith today in the unconditional love and acceptance of Christ who adores all of His children equally and perfectly. Find your worth today in the only One who is worthy.

Don’t wait for somebody to come and boost your self-esteem.

Let Christ be your esteem. 

May 19, 2014

Are we prepared?

Well, after two years, I felt more prepared to hit this season... and then we had to add a whole new element to this summer.

So what is coming up?

Well, every year we plan English camp for kids. But this year, we are doing TWO!!! Camp video from last year.

This is by far the busiest time of the year! The theme is Upside-Down. We have 25 kids signed up already for the 1st camp, but we are praying for 50. Can you pray for the last 25 with us?

We are still praying for 18 more kids for the 2nd camp too. Prayers appreciated.

And we are also adding a trip back to America.

The kids are one month away from being done with school. And as much as they are feeling done with it, so am I. But as soon as school is over (the 25 of June) the camp starts on the 26th. After that camp, we go to #2 camp. After that we fly.

People keep asking me if I am ready for the trip back to America and I am excited and maybe ready. But it is going to take some serious precise scheduling to keep the family element doing ok. The kids (and us) will be experiencing some reverse culture shock... whatever that means :). Lots and lots of visiting. And really trying to make sure we can get some good quality time with the kids grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins.
God keeps reminding me of a time at a ladies Bible Study when I was given the blessing of speaking and the topic God wanted me to talk on (He made it very clear) was "NOT TO WORRY". 
And we all know that when we teach something, we remember it 100x more than if we were the listeners. :) Well, God has often reminded me of many things that the Holy Spirit spoke through me that Thursday morning years ago. I need those words and reminders from His Word more than ever right now :)

Why do I over think everything???
Why do I worry about the future plans?
Why do I worry so much about the disappointment I will cause others?
Why do I worry what others will think... all the time?
Why? Do I think by worrying I am going to fix anything or add days to my life?

NO I don't think that worry fixes anything! But yet I have to fight not looking horizontal every day and keep my eyes vertical and on His plans for me.

God is taking care of us. God is taking care of our kids. God is taking care of our calendar!

Here is our tentative schedule:
June 25-30             Junior High Camp ----Pray for 50 kids
June 6-12               High-school Camp ---Pray for 20 kids
July 17                   Arrive in Oregon sleepy
July 19 - 24           Cannon Beach, OR
July 25 - Aug. 1    Independence / Salem, OR
August 2 - 5          Crooked River Ranch, OR
August 6 - 10        Eatonville, WA
August 14 - 19      Scottsbluff, NE
August 20 - 27      Colorado
August 28             Fly Back to Slovenia
Sept. 1                  School starts

Jan 9, 2014

You are more precious than silver

I was singing the song "More precious than Silver" today as I was folding a mountain sized pile of laundry. 

Lord, You are more precious than silver;
Lord, You are more costly than gold;
Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds;
And nothing I desire compares with You.
And nothing I desire compares with You... and just kept repeating the words...
And nothing I desire compares with You.

It was one of those really heart felt moments of just God and I, singing from my heart (not caring how I'm singing, 'cuz no one was listening) :) and I stopped for a moment... and deep in my heart, I heard, feltnot really sure how to describe it other than the way God speaks to me. :) And I heard the same words but this time it was like GOD was singing to me.

Christena, You are more precious than silver;
Christena, You are more costly than gold;
Christena, You are more beautiful than diamonds;
And there is nothing I desire more than you.

We can all put our name in this song!

The Bible says that God loved us so much that, while we were still sinners, He gave His one and only Son for each one of us. To those who accept His gift, to those who confess and believe that He is Lord, we will have an amazing-abundant-completely-fulfilled life with Him eternally.

His Love is amazing. It is deeper and wider than anyone can understand!

The song :)

Dec 20, 2013


Psalm 105:1-4
"Oh give thanks to the Lord,"

God is doing big things!

A couple of months ago we were talking to JW's. Yup, they're here in Slovenia too. One thing they asked as we told them about our faith in the Jesus, "why don't you go door-to-door like us?"

I admire them for this, though they are trying to convince people into a lie, which I hate. They do this door-to-door-evangelizing very well.

"call upon His name;"

So I started praying, "God help us go door-to-door for You and reach out with more bold faith and passion."

God answered this prayer so quickly!!!!

The next month the Dolenski List, a regional Newspaper, asked if they could come over, interview us and write our story in it! (See article below)

"Make known His deeds among the peoples."
Door-to-door... here we go!

I know most everyone can't understand what this article says, but it basically tells the path that God directed us to get us to Slovenia. God did some really amazing things to point us to Slovenia and direct our steps!!! :) We could feel God really leading us through the interview. It was amazing!

At the end of the interview, the lady said, "Wow, I can see that Slovenia was clearly your destiny." Then she asked if she could write another article more on what we do here! Well, coming to Slovenia is not quite our destiny, because I think of destiny more of where you end up at the end of your life (Heaven or Hell?), but coming here is a part of God's plan for sure.

The really amazing thing, to write an article that includes Evangelical Protestant Christianity, probably is not the most popular thing this Newspaper could've written about. heeheehee :) What they are more interested in is, "Why in the world would American's come to Kocevje, Slovenia of all places???"
That's a strange concept. The way we answered that question... well clearly God brought us here... and so we told the story :) Click here if you want to read the story.....---..... Here's more.
Yesterday an add on the radio for the Newspaper announced this article as a selling point! How many people will read this?, we don't know, but we are praying! Would you pray with us?

Less than 1% know Jesus as their personal Savior. People don't talk freely about Jesus here, partly because people don't know about Him. You are strange if you say very simple things like:
I'll pray for you.
Do you read your Bible?
God bless you.
"Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Glory in His holy name;"

Our prayer is that when people read this article, they will see not only that we are called to Slovenia, but that more kids will come to youth group, that families will start attending church, but most importantly, that they will see that God is real and He loves them and that they would give their life to serve Him. "Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad."

Psalm 105:1-4
"Oh give thanks to the Lord,
call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually."