I’ve been married to this wonderful guy for almost 31 years now and during those three decades, we’ve probably been apart for an extended period of time (as in three weeks to a month) on about six different occasions. It’s not something we’re terribly fond of doing, but when there’s a good reason for it, we’re willing to make the sacrifice.
This year, Denny will once again be heading out on the road with our mission Steiger’s evangelistic band and show, No Longer Music. He’ll be serving in the role of band pastor (while also driving one of the vans and being a roadie) during the month-long Switzerland and Southern European leg of their 2016 tour. I’m so proud of him, as I know serving in this way really comes naturally to him and is so dear to his heart. He’ll also have the added blessing of spending a month with our son Isaac, who’s the band’s main drummer during this part of the tour.
Back in April, I began considering how I might spend this month that I’d be on my own and as I prayed about it, I felt that God wanted to use this time to challenge and grow me in new ways, to birth something profound in me. I then came across an exceptional deal on a flight to China and considered going to visit our daughter Whitney there for a couple weeks. Yet when I was unable to find someone to care for our dogs and cat in my absence, I determined that, as I had suspected, this season was meant to be spent here in Portugal.
The challenge I feel that God has placed before me is to do something different – an action or effort I would not normally undertake – during each of the thirty days of this month that Denny will be away. It may be a physical activity, a mental undertaking or a more spiritual experience (though, truthfully, I find that ALL experiences have a spiritual dimension). Although each one may not appear to be anything earth-shattering, I believe that every day will bring me a new lesson, a fresh opportunity for growth and new perspective from my Father. Challenge accepted!
While I’ve been preparing my heart for this season, I decided that it might be interesting to share this experience with you, my wonderful readers. As I see it, the benefit of bringing this challenge to this blog is twofold. Firstly, it will help me to faithfully walk through this commitment, even on the rough days. It will no longer simply be a quiet covenant made within my heart to daily step outside of my normal routine or what might be comfortable for me. In welcoming you to the picture I am, in essence, making a vow to you – a pledge to carry this out in its entirety. Secondly, since I will take the time each day to briefly recount here what has transpired, I’ll thus create for myself the opportunity to reflect on the events of my day and what their significance has been for me. It’s a win-win, folks!
Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud. – Hermann Hesse
So welcome to my 30-day challenge! It will begin on Tuesday, May 10 when Denny flies out of here and will end on June 8, when I fly to be reunited with him and to participate in the beginning weeks of Steiger’s Missions School in Krögis, Germany. I confess it’s a bit of a scary undertaking, but I suppose it wouldn’t be much of a challenge if it weren’t.
So… see you two days from now!!
Call to me and I will answer you,
and will tell you great and hidden things
that you have not known.