Thursday, May 29, 2008

JUST LAUGH Is Coming To A Close

edited to say this is very much a "just one of those days" posts..rambling and wanting to share my heart but not sure how...yeah, you know those days don't you?
A "I probably shouldn't, I'm just tired, and emotional but I'm gonna do it anyway" post.

PCS, or Permanent Change of Station is coming quickly. The time will soon arrive that we will be leaving beautiful Okinawa. Sometime in July, we will board a plane with all our memories and about 3 years of age and head back to the U.S. with a very slim chance of ever returning. It will be very difficult to say goodbye to the Church we have called home since Aug 29th of 05. It has been such a blessing. I am slowly surrendering my ministries and some are to a dear friend whose husband will replace mine as a deacon when we leave. My feelings are bittersweet. God has allowed us to run hard and strong in the midst of trials and difficulties...He has so strengthened us in the way and I look forward (with some nervousness) to what He has ahead of us.

Yes, this may be the end of "Just Laugh" seeing as how I started it to keep our friends and family updated on our lives across the ocean. I love the friends I have made on here and I do plan to keep in touch. I may start a new blog when we get settled in the states...I'm just not sure about that yet as I have shared an awful lot of info on here because we were outside of the US...we'll see what happens.

And, this, is difficult to share. It has been a challenge to discern what to share on blogger here...I don't think a blog truly paints an accurate picture(maybe I'm wrong?), but for me, I would start to write some things about our ministry here and many other things to round out what comes across my blogger image...and it just felt like it would come across as boasting. I don't think that anyone else is boasting when they share about what the Lord is accomplishing in their lives, their talents the blessings in their family...I guess I am aware of the painful fact that pride lurks around every corner in my life-even in that statement itself. Anyway, since I feel led to exclude many things that could have lent to stumbling on my part, it seems as though who I really am is not coming through. In my attempt to be *real*, in recording my thoughts and struggles...ideas, convictions and some lacking ones... I have had my feelings hurt, I am ashamed to admit, when I feel that I am rejected by other bloggers. We ladies have a sly way of showing our approval and our rejection of one another...let's be honest-I believe we even fool ourselves most times. We know when it's done to others and have a pretty good idea when it's done to us and honestly, we just have to love one another anyway :) I have gone back and read comments I made and had to recant...I have been less than gracious a few times I am sure. I praise the Lord for those who overlook my faults. It is truly a show of Christ like love when you *stick around* even when you don't see eye to eye on everything....when you see a besetting sin the Lord is working out, when you don't share the same convictions... I know we don't have time to get around to everyone's blog :) I'm not talking about that...I certainly don't get to visit everyone that I would like to...I go long periods of not being able to blog or visit, but I purpose to encourage each one of you that I can, I love you and care about you...I pray for you.

Thankfully, many of you know me personally and can see more of the true picture with all its faults and blessings as well. :) I have had to repent of accusing in my heart, as well....I know I am just a faulty human and I am never to be offended-as I am crucified with Christ, but in my flesh, I have been angered and upset when I see others judged and *ousted* by one another in the blogosphere and offended myself as well (not that it doesn't happen in real life). Praise the Lord it is only a fleeting thing and repented of immediately, but it is worth mentioning that ladies know when they are being rejected and it is discouraging. Let's be sensitive to one another. Okay, off my soapbox that rings of lingering self-pity and a touch of resentment, I'm afraid.

So, because I stumble in many ways, I will sum up our ministry here with this: it has been such a blessing a priviledge to learn and serve at Maranatha...I am so humbled...so blessed. What I do want to do is lift up the Lord-He not only sees the big picture, HE KNOWS our hearts. He has blessed and I do want to unashamedly thank the Lord for a godly husband who has so faithfully served His Lord and Savior amidst many a trial. He has taught and trained his children faithfully, been patient with me, had faith in me to be his helpmeet...held my hand in prayer...made me so proud to be his bride. As tempted as I am to share more, ...it still seems I trying to somehow be *approved*.

Please pray for us as we have much to do in preparation to leave. It is especially difficult right now because Brian is tied up with school and we still have lots of loose ends to tie up. Please pray for Maranatha Baptist Church as well-since this is PCS season...they are losing alot of faithful servants-pray for more laborers to carry on the ministry to the military and Japanese here on Okinawa. Love you my friends!

28 comments:

Rebekah said...

PCS time is always so hard. I'll be praying for you. You'll be closer, though! Only about a 4-6 hour drive (been that way once a year ago and can't remember how long it took :-)

For purely selfish reasons, I'm going to say I hope you keep blogging. It alwayas touches me whether by making me laugh or by giving me food for thought. It's been great to be able to see what's going on with you and kinda keep in touch.

Either way, I will be praying for you and your family, and hopefully we'll be able to get together when you get back stateside!

~ Rebekah

I live IN Jesus said...

Oh ((((Heather)))))! Selfishly, I am ever soooooo sad that you may be taking your encouraging and oftentimes convicting insights off of the blogosphere! I do however want to ask you to seek the Lord's will for sure(obviously you will ;)), because we are not to be man pleasers but GOD pleasers ONLY! So, as long as you remain true to what you KNOW that you KNOW that you KNOW God has taught you, then HE is the only one that you MUST please! God bless you sister--I will be lifting you all up in prayer and hoping that I can remain in contact with you--even though we do not talk often--I always check your blog--nearly everyday! ;) We are kindred in many ways and I know that if we met in real life we would have much to talk on(namely Jesus Christ!!!!)!
Sincerely your sister in Jesus Christ,
Sarah T

Happymama said...

((((Heather)))) I'm going to miss you soooooo much. I have felt, recently, like one of those you mentioned that have been rejected by others in the blogsphere. I'm not exactly sure why, but it's happened. I've wondered if there has been some sort of gossip going on that I am unaware of, but then I realized that if I have been judged for some offence that I am unaware of and God has not dealt with me, than it's just idle gossip and God will take care of it, sending me other blessings along the way. Like you. You have been so wonderful to say the sweetest and most encouraging things to me. A lot of times when I've felt my lowest. Sometimes you'll say it in a comment and other times an email when I've had prayer requests. You're always happy for me when I have a praise to share and I have been blessed beyond words to have you "in my life."
I do hope you'll stay in touch and I hope that one day we'll be able to meet in person. Well, I am confident we will do that One Day.

I love you, my friend. My sister!

~Kristi

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

Please don't disappear! Please don't disappear! I'm not going to embarrass myself by telling you how I feel about this.

But please don't disappear!

Robin said...

Heather, I agree with all--Please don't leave the blogsphere! I'm sure it will take the back burner during the move and adjustment to a new area. I will really miss your post and seeing and hearing how your family is growing.

Maybe once the move is made you can post a summary of your time in Okinawa. The ministry and growth.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving comments.

Keep us posted as you can on how things are going.
Praying for you and your family.

Mishel said...

Dearest Heather...I'm so very thankful to be able to call you a RLF (real life friend). My heart is sad for your church family there in Japan, because I remember only too well how our hearts ached when you left CBC. But I know this: just as you served faithfully in Yucca Valley and Japan, I'm excited to see how the Lord will use your family at your next duty station. And I hope you'll consider continuing your blog so that we can keep up with you. Your ministry here in the blogosphere is far reaching and I have been truly blessed by your fun posts as well as your more serious ones. I have always appreciated how "real" you are.

And in regard to the other issue you mentioned--this has been something that has been on my heart as well. What you said here is so true:

"We ladies have a sly way of showing our approval and our rejection of one another...let's be honest-I believe we even fool ourselves most times."

It's so sad isn't it? Why do we do this to each other? I have felt the sting of rejection as well and yes, it hurts. I know I've been guilty of being on the other side of it myself, but truly, my heart's desire is just love my bloggy sisters-in-Christ and be an encouragement. Thank you for this bringing up this topic.

I love you friend--and I'm praying for you and the rest of the gang! : )

~Stephie~ said...

My dearest Heather,

I enjoy reading your blog!! I read and check it everyday. I too, am selfish of wanting you to keep your blog. I love being able to see your family grow and read about your every day life. You were my first friend in 29palms and I want to always keep you as a (RLF)!! Though we do not chat often, you are ALWAYS going to be one of a handful of special friends that God has placed in my life. You are a good wife, mother and friend. I will pray for sanity while you packing up (wink) and for your safe return to the states. God Bless you and your family!

Much love,
Stephanie

Cherlyn said...

I am really hoping that you will soon find yourself able to continue your blogging. Your posts are inspirational food for thought for me. Please keep blogging, Heather!

Pam--in Jerusalem said...

I understand the safety concerns now that you're headed back to the States. Maybe you can join me in just posting headless pictures and renaming your family "Daughter 1, Daughter 2..." You encourage SO MANY people, including myself, I'll pray that God shows you a way to continue doing just that!

Hey, maybe we can help each other with blog traffic. When you relocate, your readers can come to my blog to find out how to find you again ;) I'm sure I'd hit record numbers for that piece of info.

missy said...

Oh Heather, where do I even start?

First, I am totally right there with you on the blog rejection thing. There is one lady in particular who used to visit me regularly--and I thought we were truly becoming friends--and then she abruptly stopped. I still regular her blog, but she effectively ignores me. She is a Christian lady and for the life of me I can' t figure out how I offended her. I even almost blogged about this myself recently! But, I am just sitting back, feeling hurt, and wondering why she rejected me. So you are NOT alone by a long shot here.

Now, I can't really relate to moving half way across the world but I can (and will) pray for you!

And as for the blogging, I would so hate to lose you already, I just found you!! You have become a real friend and I sincerely hope that you decide to keep blogging at least a little!

Oh and for what its worth, I have never felt offended by you or felt you were being prideful. I am encouraged by hearing how God is moving in you and around you. You are a constant source of inspiration and encouragement to me.

:)

Laura said...

Heather, I have been reading your blog via Pam's website for a while now and I want to let you know that you have blessed me and others. I have read through Proverbs many times but when you posted about your husband mentioning Prov 17:1 I became a faithful reader. That one verse has helped my family and another family that I love. This other family is in a "get busy" church. It is a tiny church but wanting to create and fill offices as if they were running 500 strong on Wed. night. They are new in the Lord and this verse when I showed it to her was received silently and written down. She was so grateful to be shown in God's own words where being so busy is not always a good thing according to God! I have also used this in many conversations with my own girls. They are older and will be going off on their own a little sooner than yours :-) and they need to know about being keepers at home and being peaceful and God's plan for service. This verse has been memorized by my oldest and she and I have had wonderful discussions about it. I am thankful that I got to know you some in Japan, sorrowful that I didn't get to know you better. I was very glad for this blog so I could get to know you a bit better. Do as the Lord leads, please don't delete this until I get a chance to go back and read everything! You are an encouragement to me. Will be praying for you....

Laura

liz said...

(((Heather))) PCSing is so hard-physically and emotionally. I know you certainly have your mind on other things right now. Again, for purely selfish reasons I would hate to see you give up blogging. But I also don't want to you do something that is not best for you and your family just because others want you to. Just do as God leads you. I know bloggyworld would be a little sadder place without you. I love when I see your blog highlighted on bloglines. I can't wait to hear what you have to say. I appreciate your "real"ness. You are always an encouragement to me.

Keith and I were actually just talking about your and Brian the other day, and what you guys meant to us at Maranatha. You had an impact on us that I'm sure you don't even realize.

I love you, friend. I hate to see you go. I will be praying.

Daughter of the King said...

Heather....
(((HUGS))), although you are not a RLF I do consider you a sweet blogging, Christian sister in the Lord. I like the others will MISS your blog. I do hope that there is a way for you to continue.

No blog world is not perfect, neither is going to church, even a IFB church. I have been MORE wounded by the *elect* in a church situation than I care to even write about. I have heard it said, that *Christians are the only ones that kill their own wounded* ...I would say we sometimes re-injure each other.
Trying to give people the benefit of the doubt is hard.
In blogging we just have days or weeks where getting around to everyone is hard, or commenting is hard yet sometimes, I will read and not comment...why, I think sometimes I just don't have anything to say. There has not been malice towards that person.
I have also seen jealousy of sorts in blogging and I don't like that.
There is popularity and yet I think we should get to the reason, WHY we do this? It is different for all of us.
We ALL want each other to like us.
We all love comments and visits and that sitemeter to go up and up...for some reason we think it validates us...for me it is FLESH and PRIDE, this I know and struggle with. Maybe others don't.
All I know is that I have been and am continually challenged by the blogs I read and sometimes it is just a simple statement or even a verse shared, or experience. I ask that it will bear fruit in my life and that I too can offer up a tidbit of wisdom or something here and there.
I will tell you, your blog is one of the REAL ones out there and I am thankful for you.
Please if you continue, keep me as one who would like to continue to be one of your readers.
Prayers for you and yours during this PCS time, I sure do know how this time of your life is.
Love,
Deby
Air Force wife 23 years

Free In Christ said...

I sure hate to see you go. I have enjoyed getting to "know" you so much. Maybe our lives will meet in person some day, you know I am working in Ohio--okay not too far into Ohio, because I do live in Indiana, however, you never know. I sure hope to keep in touch with you. I must go for now. You know your house is a mess when the kids admit that it is a mess. LOL!! Gotta run, while they are visiting my sister.

Dawn said...

So many of us have written lately about the impossibility of being totally "real" in blogland, because of possible repurcussions. I have heard of those who have been hurt badly by another person who writes e-mails and criticizes them mercilessly. It has not happened to me. I don't know what I would do.

I just love blogging and all the wonderful people I have met, you just recently. I always wonder how people end up at my place.

My dad pastored in Omaha, and many of our people in the church were from Offutt AFB. We were always sending "missionaries" from our church to some other church where they were to be based. It was hard to lose them. I hope you find a good church to be a blessing to and to be blessed by wherever you land.

Blessings! And I hope you blog again and let me know where you end up in cyberspace!

Heather said...

Sorry for the blanket response my sweet friends...I feel actually guilty after reading your sweet and encouraging comments. It is humbling and overwhelming...if you read any good or saw any good, be assured it is the Lord speaking to you and not at all me or my posts. I hope that came out right. I am not upset about readership or feeling "ignored"...this is def. not the reason for ending this blog. I *never* get around to all the ladies I want to! Again this is in *not* about readership. I just wanted to bring up something that I noticed LONG ago and wanted to bring it to light so that we could be aware and sensitive to one another. We are never to be offended, Deby is so right when she says things are never going to be perfect in Church or in the blogosphere, we need to just give our offences to the Lord and continue marching on. I wanted to make known that if we think we are fooling anyone concerning our judging of them or rejection of them...if we think that people can't see the *cliques* we secure in and out of the blogosphere...we are only fooling ourselves. I am just as guilty my sweet friends..the Lord exposes me every time. Even in this response the Lord exposes my offended heart offended not so much for myself, but for some sisters. So, please, don't think I am offended if you are reading this and fail to comment, or if you just don't have time to visit or don't feel like it...or just plain don't like what I have to say all the time or don't agree with me...I am emphatically *not* talking about that. I am talking about those who have the pride of life and who through their *sly* way show their approval of some and rejection of others in order to maintain some sense of heirarchy in the Christian community. If we are truly born-again, saved by Grace Christians, we are all positionally perfect in Christ. We are to love the Christ in one another. The Bible says to encourage one another DAILY. Who are you withholding love from because you think it will "teach them a lesson"? I forget who said this, but I recently read " truth without love is legalism and love without truth is liberalism"...so true. Please don't misread this as a cry for attention or comments...though I do appreciate your encouragement...I could barely read through my tears. Loving the Christ in you~heather

Heather said...

Stephie!!! I love you girl...I can't get into your BLOG!!!

Becky said...

Heather,

It is so amazing that even after I've left Okinawa, you have encouraged me in many different ways. I love reading your blogs and especially love the pics of the children. I know God sent us to Okinawa for a reason and I thank him everyday for putting you and your family in our lives. I hope that even after you move to the US you still continue to keep in touch.
May God Bless you !

I love you my friend and take care.

Becky

Leah said...

(((((Heather))))) I've so enjoyed reading your blog. I know the Lord has blessed your life in Japan. I'm excited for your next chapter, but I must say, I was looking forward to "seeing" where the Lord would lead you all when you return to Virgina. I'll be praying for strength for you as you make this change.

Karen said...

Heather...I really hope you'll keep blogging when you get back to the states. I've been so remiss when it comes to commenting. I always read your blog but don't take time to comment. Your comments are always so encouraging to me. I feel so privileged to have "met" you online and know whatever happens, we'll meet in Heaven!!! Love and prayers...Karen

Tiffany said...

I will be praying for you and you family in this time of preparation. I know that the Lord has great things in store for you and your family. I know its hard to say goodbye to a place you have called home for so long. Im going to really miss all the beautiful pictures you post. I pray that you start a new post when you get settled in your new place!!! I love reading all your stories.

Shari said...

Heather: I will miss you! Your blog has been such an encouragement to me. I have grown from so many of the posts you have written. I know that you will be a blessing at your next duty station. The church in Okinawa will have a hole in it when you leave. Know I love you and appreciate you for your honesty and integrity as a Wife, Mother, homemaker. On a side note, I bought those vitamins and they are awesome. Thank you for the lead. Blessings to you, My Sister. You are loved!

sachi said...

I re-submitted my friends e-mails on this thing, so if your e-mail address is the same that I already have (the hotmail one)then you will be able to read it. I haven't written in it in a while though. I will try to keep it updated. Much love, Stephanie

The Girls said...

Hey, Miss Y.
WOW it seems like I just found you but I know if it be Gods will then I will hear or find you again.
I want to let you know that I really LOVE you and your family, and if it is possible please keep in touch.
When I started to get to know your family you immediately became my role model as a wonderful Christian Mother in the church.
Thanks for letting me tagg along and watch the Girls.
I love ya`ll Krystle.

Sileena said...

Heather, I was trying to find a way to email you...
Please email me nolanites at roadrunner dot com

Kimberly said...

Heather,
I do hope and pray that you will keep with your blog. I feel that, yes,women do lash out either out right or underhanded but the Lord uses it to grow us. You have ALWAYS been an encouragement to me and you will never understand how much I have always asked the Lord to give me your Christain wife, mother, and worker traits. I am very thankful for all the wisdom you share. I love you!! I pray that you will for give me if at anytime I have caused you hurt, for I would never mean to hurt your spirit. I love you!! (on a side note where are you PCSing?)

Heather said...

Becky, you are such a blessing...I hope we can get together sometime if we are both in the Ohio area sometime. love you! Heather

Leah, thank you so much for the encouragement dear one!

Karen- You and Melissa were my first bloggy friends..you are very dear to me...I still pray for C. how is she?

Tiffany, I will start again..my husband says I have to

Shari, I will def. keep in touch, I have loved getting to know you!

Thank you Stephie!

Krystle and Laurie...I love you girls..don't worry, I will stay in touch! :)

Sileena...I will email you shortly girl :)

Kimberly ((I love you)) I wish I were better at keeping in touch with you! I think of you often!!

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

Dear Heather, I am so glad that I was not able to come and read this blog until now that I am feeling better and God has worked things out. I would have been so sad. You are such a blessing. I would hate to lose your friendship. I will be praying for you and your family as you prepare to leave as well as your church that you are leaving. I can only say, "I love you" take care and it will be just fine and you all will be happy where ever you are because you have the Lord and your family. connie from Texas