Tuesday, March 4, 2014

When God Writes A Story

This quote...
We are a pencil in the hand of God. It's not about us. ~ Fred Katagwa, as quoted in the book What's Your Mark? by Jeremy Cowart.
I've been chewing on it this last little while... a pencil in the hand of God... like God writing a story. What does that exactly look like?

Two weeks ago, my favourite blogger Ann Voskamp, who is also a friend and fellow Compassion Advocate... together with her hubby, took their whole family on a trip to Guatemala. The story she wrote from there gripped me. It's breathtakingly beautiful... looks exactly like a story God writes when a family takes that step to be a pencil in the hand of God.

The Voskamp family's story so resonated with me because it is, in many ways, very similar to our family's story... of a thousand God-things happening when we don't even realize it...
Of a Compassion Child Development Centre being the end result of our very meager offerings {and quite beautifully, with Ann playing a part of our family's story as well}...
Of God choosing to use weak and unqualified people for Kingdom purposes...
Of a family forever damaged and forever changed and being the most blessed in the process, just because we're willing to be a pencil in the hand of God
A few days after reading Ann's story from Guatemala... 
A film crew from our church descended upon our house. They're filming curriculum material and wanted to share our family's story... of how it feels and what it means to be a pencil in the hand of God.

As the cameras rolled and words came out of my mouth... 
My heart simultaneously filled with deep gratitude and immense joy, with endless thanks to our Heavenly Father, who relentlessly pursues us and is so amazingly gracious in all His ways... 

Because, you see... perhaps just merely six short years ago, I wouldn't have recognized this family whose story I am telling in front of the cameras! Yes, this wasn't always our family's story!

Photo Credit: Natalie Frisk

While we were involved with both global and local missions and were serving the "least of these" here and there a couple of times each year, we were too comfortable and were missing something very important and were stricken with "affluenza" and were suffering from entitlement

We didn't know first-hand what it means to crave a life that tastes like Christ. We were full of faith but weren't obedient. We were addicted to comfort and were indifferent and unconcerned.
Rebel against your own indifference. ~ Bono.
But God is always good...
And He never let go nor gave up on us, and is, even as I type this, still perfecting the good work that He has began in our family.

We have been forever changed... broken and damaged, yet it is the most blessed place to be.

Our story... is a grace-story, one only possible because of God's amazingly beautiful wild Grace. Being a pencil in the hand of God... it isn't always easy, yet it is the most blessed place to be!

Because, when it's all said and done, it's not about us... it's God's story!
It doesn't matter who you are, how big your audience or your bank account, you can make a mark. You can do it. Jesus did. He is the example, the eternal Truth we love because he loved us first. We serve because he served first. ~ Jeremy Cowart, What's Your Mark?
:: :: ::

As I continue to count grace-gifts, with unending thanks... these are the things I am thankful for these past two weeks... #3171 - #3188:
:: The many opportunities to be a pencil in the hand of God! 
:: Great end to my boy's basketball season, quite possibly his last one.
:: Serving at Coldest Night of the Year with our church family.
:: God's answer to prayer regarding some turmoil and uncertainties surrounding one of hubby's business contacts.
:: AIDS Care season at our church in full swing right now!
:: Grad photo day for my boy... where did the time go?!?
:: God's strength and healing touch as we endured a few weeks of colds and flu in this household.
:: A great deal on a pair of new winter boots for me. Yes, winter is hanging around much longer around these parts this year.
:: March! A new month... and Spring is just around the corner!
:: My boy demonstrating his speed cubing skills at a birthday party and getting "paid" in the form of a donation to Compassion Canada's Philippine Disaster Fund! So awesome! 
:: An opportunity for me to help a friend create some digital marketing graphics and, same as my boy, getting "paid" in the form of the same donation to Compassion Canada!
:: Another opportunity for hubby to advocate for Philippine Haiyan relief by speaking on behalf of Habitat for Humanity Canada at a Social Justice Series event held during Lent at a local church.
:: Another Compassion child sponsored via our family's advocacy. 
:: Several opportunities to engage our church's littlest ones and to teach them about being the hands and feet of Jesus! Such an awesome privilege!
:: Tax season... despite all the paperwork that comes with it.
:: Sunny winter days... makes the cold a little bit more bearable!
:: God's faithfulness, even in times when we are not. ♥
:: Writing letters to our Philippine Compassion daughters, Rechelle and Florianlyn!

In counting grace-gifts...
I am learning to let be and be still... and to pay more attention to my Jesus... and to be ready to act on the things that He has in store for me to do... because "all there is to see is Jesus."
Gratitude is the only appropriate response to Grace.
~ Bruxy Cavey, Part 2 of Life 2.0 teaching series at The Meeting House.

Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!


  1. Wow...what beautiful stories of service to God. So thankful I stopped by from Ann's today.
    Thank You...Jenna @ Our Adventure with Boys

    1. Thanks for dropping by today, Jenna! God's stories are always beautiful, aren't they? He makes beauty out of our ashes. ♥