Saturday, March 9, 2019

January / February '19 Review: PAIN & OPPORTUNITY

Buen Provecho Familia Barba

“Ultimately we become what we pay attention to, and the options available to us at any time are myriad, the most important of which being located within us. Paul, in his letter to the Romans knows this, stating flatly, ‘Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace’ (Romans 8:5-6). To have one’s mind set on something is essentially about paying attention.  What do I pay attention to? Paul says that what we pay attention to doubles back and governs us. Hence our attention is deeply associated with either death or life. So much of the biblical narrative is the story of God working hard to get our attention.” (Curt Thompson, The Soul of Shame, p. 49)

I was recently asked by someone, “What is your passion?”

That is a great question. One that my forty-two year old self isn’t quite sure how to answer these days. Somehow I don’t think it is the most important one! “Who am I in Christ and how do I play a part in the Great Commission... without the missionary title?” Now that one seems to bare some weight…

"We're NOT in Honduras anymore, Toto!"

The start to the year has probably been one of the most painful that I can remember. I’ve said it before, but perhaps I had a naïve understanding that all our wounds and hurts over the last few years would be wrapped upped nicely by the turn of the year and our transition to the “new normal” would be well on its way.

Not so. Yet, God still has His way of getting my attention:

Revelations about my own lack of authenticity as a child of God and the reliance on ministerial titles & achievements has been humbling. Insights of my own mental, physical and emotional health have painfully opened a new realm of dependency on Christ. Marital & parental clashes have torn away at any facade of faith that I once masqueraded in. The Great Physician continues to remove the malignant and harmful from my soul.  Honestly, I think I’m still on the operating table when I had hoped to be in physical therapy by now!

It has also been difficult to navigate “church”. How much to get involved? How much to “rest”? What does God think of me even though I might be “sitting on the sidelines”? What do I think of myself? To be frank, it feels like we are “on the team” but currently on the “injured reserve list”; of course, under the Great Physician’s orders. I’ve stepped off the worship team for a season because the Holy Spirit revealed mixed motives on my part; therefore, it doesn’t bring the same joy & peace that it once did. However, I’ve started to help with the “juniors” Sunday school class: 4th – 8th graders. It was fun to get my feet wet with that group of children!

Super Bowl Party with friends from church!

Shame is a primary means to prevent us from using gifts we have been given. And those gifts enable us to flourish as a light-bearing community of Jesus followers who work to create space for others who wish to join it to do so. Shame, therefore, is not simply an unfortunate, random, emotional event that came with us out of the primordial evolutionary soup. It is both a source and result of evil’s active assault on God’s creation, and a way for evil to try to hold out until the new heaven and earth appear at the consummation of history.” (Curt Thompson, The Soul of Shame, p. 13)

Shame has been an unwanted friend and a subversive foe for way too long in my Christian walk. It has not been easy to part ways with him, but at least he is being exposed and my journey continues… poco a poco.

Miraculously. Faithfully. Unconditionally. God is still present, still providing, still wooing, and still healing.

Shop & Kitchen work with Resurrected Cabinet Coatings

My job search kicked off in January and was initially very deflating. After hours of filling out numerous on-line applications and hearing nothing in return I reached out to the kids’ school to see if any opportunities would open through that larger “family”. (I tried some contacts from church and even painted a job with a friend. But nothing more came about.) I was introduced to Kevin Chapman with Resurrected Cabinet Coatings. He has taken me on as a sub-contracting apprentice of sorts. Last year, Kevin & his wife branched off to start their own business after having partnered with another couple for several years. His wife has been recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and is unable to contribute to the small business as she did before. God knew!

Professor Beard @ your service.

I have also had a stint of substitute teaching at the kids’ school. It has been 8+ years since I managed a “traditional” classroom, but it was much like riding a bike. (Yes, I put on my helmet!) I had a great time with both 8th grade and 11th grade English classes; this week it has been Algebra 1!!! The time at the school also quickly built a good reputation for me amongst the students and the staff. I have chatted with the administration about returning to the school as a teacher in the Fall. (I also have been accepted to sub at District 49, the only district in the Springs that takes Bachelor Degree Only subs, but have my calendar filled at USCO & making deliveries again with Butter Braids for March! PTL)

However, working at USCO would be like paid ministry. In reality, I would have to work elsewhere to help keep our budget. We are hoping to move out from the Goransons in May! So, grateful for their help, but ready to have our own place. PRAY for me as I make decisions about work and the balance between the jobs!

My two other options are to begin work as a financial planner with Northwest Mutual. Even though this profession is outside of my ministerial / educational background I am really excited for the opportunity! A chance to reinvent myself and watch God provide in a different way for the family. My second option is to work with the Goransons as they begin a business focused on whole house fans! Our friends’ success in California with the business encourages us that it is possible in Colorado Springs! We have our first home show at the end of the month! PRAY!!!

"Learning to Soar"

Marillyn continues to work on her business with Young Living Essential Oils. These oils have been a staple in the Beard family routine for years. Not only do they help us recover from illness (health & wellness) and wind us down for the evening (bed-time routines), they are beginning to be an “essential” part of our trauma recovery: helping both mentally and physically flush on the stress of the last several years of missionary life! Marillyn has a Facebok "Essential Oil 101" class planned for March 30th 7PM MST. How can we sign you up?

Winter Ain't All Bad! 👍

We have to stop and thank the many who have continued to support us financially while God sorts out our income. Thanks to the many monthly givers who have continued support and for the one time givers who made it possible for our kids to attend private Christian school! We were also awarded “food stamps” and Medicaid from the State. PTL! The food stamps only covers about 2/3rds of our groceries, but it all helps! Prayerfully our income will stabilize over the next few months! God is still our provider!

New Caretakers & an appraisal for the property in Honduras.

Speaking of provision! It looks like we are very close to selling the property in Honduras! Our “prospective purchasing” missionary friends are Stateside in March presenting the idea to their board and support team. PRAY that God sees it through! Receiving a down payment and a consistent monthly payment would make a huge difference for our transition financially!

First Day of School: January 8th, 2019

The kids have been super blessed at their school: TheUniversity School of Colorado. It is amazing to see them build friendships and grow in their academic skills & understanding. What a relief for Marillyn to have three days off from schooling, too! I have heard from many staff at the school how much they enjoy the Beard children and how they have jumped into life at the school! The kids will be wrapping up the third quarter this month and then we head to our missionary retreat over Spring Break! (Also, continue to PRAY for Naomi as she meets with her tutor Erin in order to prepare for the riggers of junior high in the Fall!)

Monday, Friday & sometimes Saturday home school.

We are excited to head to the missionary retreat throughMinistry Training International. The lodge is located less than thirty minutes north from us! PRAY that God ministers to and through all seven of us during the week!

Pike's Peak Panoramic View from the East Library

This transition is not easy.

In fact, it is one of the most challenging and
humbling things we’ve ever done!

Thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement and financial gifts!

He is faithful!

Hold on! "Spring" is just around the corner!


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