Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Unheeded Secret

My place of solitude each morning.
I had forgotten my small devotional, "My Utmost For His Highest," in my house in Florida. When I was home I grabbed it. I had forgotten how much wisdom was packed into each small reading. The last week as been focused on the journey of a missionary and so many things that he has written about has really encouraged me. Today's entry however, put into exact words what I have been struggling with over the last month in Haiti. It reads.

"It's entire strength lies in the fact that here you are immersed in the truths of God to soak in them before Him. You have no idea of where or how God is going to engineer your future circumstances, and no knowledge of what stress and strain is going to be placed on you either at home or abroad. And if you waste your time in over activity  instead of being immersed in the great fundamental truths of God's redemption, then you will snap when the stress and strain do come. But if this time of soaking before God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in Him, which may appear to be impractical, then you will remain true to Him whatever happens." 
You can read the rest here... 

Before I left for Haiti, I had this pretty picture in my mind, that when I would come, I would have all the time in the world to sit and pray and soak up in God's word. While I don't have the same distractions here as I did in the United States, there are still distractions. I soon began doing, doing, doing and was trying to keep it all together, on my own strength. Then....I snapped....the stress was too much and I couldn't do it all. (I'm sure God was thinking, "Ashlee, when are you going to learn this lesson that I keep trying to teach you.") Last week I was able to have a great day alone in His word. It helped me regain my focus and to get rooted in Him. Sometimes, I become so focused on the tasks ahead, that I forget about the reason I am even here....I am here to share God's glory and his redemption.

Friday, October 14, 2011

{Friday Favorites} - October 14

1. Laura  Is a dear friend of mine here in Haiti. She works at OLTCH an orphanage we partner with. She and I have become close friends...We have already had some very funny moments. I am so thankful for her and that we can walk through this part of our lives together. It is great having someone that understands what you are walking through who is also walking through it at the same time! Laura, thanks for becoming a great friend.

2. Teaching Teachers....One of the main reasons I felt called to Haiti was to start developing and discipling teachers. Up to this point I haven't had much opportunity to do wasn't in session and I have been busy working with groups. This week we had our first session. It went great and totally reaffirmed what I felt God was calling me to do. I went back to the school the next and witnessed on of the teachers using some of the techniques we talked about: Bubble Mapping!

 3. Paper Lanterns: For those of you that have been over to my Florida house for a dinner time meal, you may have noticed one of my favorite decorating accents...Paper Lanterns. Two weeks my stuff out of that house and I could just not let them go into I brought them to Haiti. They add a nice element to my home here and make it feel a bit softer...My home here is starting to feel homier. I just need to paint my TV stand and get an coffee table...One thing at a time though.
 4. Crafting: Ok, I'm not gonna lie. I have a slight addiction to and this is one of the projects I saw. It didn't come out quite the same (I don't have chicken wire here, so I improvised with twine). Also I have tacky white hooks, but give me a little break, I live in Haiti. Thank you Jacque and Kelsey for providing me with the frames! I really want to add some flowers, so I am going to crochet some small ones, but if you are coming to Haiti, I would love some scrap fabric.

5. Homemade Granola: Thank you to the Mann family, who I stayed with in April, for sharing this recipe. I have made it for my family and they loved it. However, I thought once I got to Haiti I wouldn't be able to make it. After all, what are the odds of finding Graham Crackers and Wheat Flour here. But, I found some yesterday at a store in Petionville! I was elated and made a fresh batch this morning. All that is missing is the chocolate chips (which I found and added after)...For those interested, here is a simple recipe!!


10 Cups old fashioned oats (Don't use quick oats)
4 Cups wheat flour
2 Cups brown sugar
1 cup coconut
3 cups graham crackers (14 whole crackers)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup maple syrup (I add a little more - I like my granola clumpy)
1 bag chocolate chips.

Mix everything except choc. chips. Bake in oven at 375 degrees until nice and brown, stiffing often (every 15 minutes) for 30 -45 minutes. Put choc. chips in after baking but while still moderately warm, depending one how mixed in you like the chocolate (Not you could also substitute in dried fruit if you want a healthy version, but I love the chocolate).

Use a large turkey roaster or throw away tin pan..If you make a half batch it fits nicely in a 13x9 pan. When it looks golden brown, it is done!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

God's Grace

Deuteronomy 4:32 - 40

32 “For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of. 33 Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? 34 Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him. 36 Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. 37 And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them3 and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, 38 driving out before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is this day, 39 know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. 40 Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”

It's amazing how easily, I like the Israelite's, forget what God has brought me through. How, He has proved his faithfulness time and time again, when He didn't need to. When I was in the wilderness and was chasing the wind....He continued to pursue me. He still pursues me....He still gives me grace. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

{Friday Favorites} - October 7

1. Our group this week is from Calvary Church, MO...They have been so wonderful; working in extreme conditions, never complaining and always have a great time. This week they provided two new homes for two families that were so gracious. Both of these families have children that are living at OLTCH. What a blessing and privilege it is to provide shelter for those in need...We praise the Lord that He choose to use us.

2. Laura - I am so thankful for this girl. She lives at OLTCH and teaches English to the children. She has become a great friend. Last weekend we spent the weekend together. We went to the beach, watched movies, almost ran over animals, and had a lot of laughter. Thank you Laura for coming to serve, it is a honor to serve along side you!

3. Bible Study - I have missed this so much! Studying Gods word with other Women. Last week Laura and I started a Beth Moore Study. I am so thankful to have this resource here in Haiti and to have someone to study God's word with!

Off to the beach with the group!! Have a great weekend!!