Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Flesh and Blood Christmas

In a time when I have been feeling God the least, this Christmas I have been reminded that He is indeed Emmanuel, God WITH us... God with me... when I stopped and just opened my eyes, and my heart, I realized He was all around me. He was constantly showing Himself to me and trying to extend His LOVE to me through ways that overwhelmed me, took my breath away, and left me in tears. Ways that have humbled me, pained me, and healed me.

In a ti
me and season where our activities center on merriment, celebration, family and friends, I found myself feeling so far removed from everything and anything. I found it hard to even feel. When people would talk to me it took all I had just to muster up the grit in me to even converse back. I just felt empty. And when I would try to find God to come fill me up it seemed He was no where to be found. I didn't understand why when I seemed to reach the end of myself and there is supposed to be God He wasn't there.

But then as the message of Christmas HOPE was spoken, Emmanuel, God With Us, coming and taking the form of marred flesh and blood to be WITH us, to live among us, celebrate with us, suffer with us, laugh with us, cry with us, becoming like us to become our Emmanuel, I realized just as He took flesh and blood form then, He continues to do the same today.

He took flesh and blood form in the anonymous giver that put Christmas money in our mailbox so we could buy presents, in the generous families
that gave of their possessions so we could have good gifts for our children that put joy in their hearts, in the strangers that opened their wallets when we were in public crisis, in the stranger that came and filled up our gas tank when we didn't have enough money to put gas in our car. He became our Emmanuel in beautiful friends who opened their lives and homes to us, in the LOVE they have extended towards me and my family, bringing us into their families on Christmas day, and in those giving so much when we could do nothing but come empty handed.

So indeed God is still here with us, just as He was long ago walking the earth among us... but this time His flesh and blood is me and it's you. And when we can get past our pride and allow Him to love us through others we encounter so much. God
was with me all the time. I just wasn't seeing it and wasn't allowing my heart to be opened to it. But when I did, I felt a flood of the precious presence and love of God that I haven't felt in a long time and it heals me.

My prayer for you as this season ends is that you will indeed feel the nearness of our Emmanuel and that it overflows into the new year. That when you feel the most alone and distant from LOVE, He would send His flesh and blood into your life and the LOVE of others would find you where you are, bind you in their prayers, and heal you in their touch.

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Matthew 1:21-23

erry Christmas and a Happy New Year from The Griffins

Monday, October 11, 2010

God in the Caves Pt. 2

This week has been an absolutley overwhelming week for me. There is no denying the goodness and grace of our God. But let me back up a bit...
I wrote a blog on Friday, Oct 1st, but never got around to posting it because, as I had told Brandon, I just really felt like there was more. That God wasn't done speaking to me about the situation... I went ahead and posted it (called God in the Caves pt. 1) so you can see the progression of it all. So take a minute and read that before going on...

Sunday Morning. So while I was doing much better and had come to a place of greater peace, I was still struggling with the "why" of everything. Okay, so I wouldn't want anyone else's life cause that would forfeit all that is mine with God, but did it always mean life had to be difficult? Was there that many issues in my heart that I constantly had to be going through hard times to work it out. Because for the most part, that is what we are taught. When God takes us into difficult times, it is because your attitude, character, heart, etc. needs to be worked on, you're being tested, etc. Was I that messed up?
During worship on the following Sunday morning (not yesterday, but last week), I was sort of just talking to God about it all and then I saw a picture of some caves. And I felt God say to me that David (in the Bible) was who David was because he lived in caves. That he was able to write the Psalms that have spoken so greatly and ministered to millions for centuries because he lived in caves. That there are things that we can't know of God without spending time in caves. And David knew those things because of the time he spent in those caves. And I saw the entrance to the caves again and felt God say to me, " Would you live in caves to know me like David did?"
Wow. Just to know Him. Not cause I had all these horrible issues that needed to be unkinked (which I am sure there are), or I was constantly being disciplined by God, but just to know Him. He just wanted to be known by me.
And so I stood there for a minute thinking that over because I did not want to give an emotional "yes" with no stamina behind it. I settled in my heart at that moment that yes, God, you are absolutely worth spending time in caves for. That I will do whatever it takes to know You, and if that is the only way to know certain aspects about You, then in caves I will dwell (figuratively speaking, of course :).
I just stood there crying during worship because I was so overwhelmed with peace at whatever hardships we must endure (i.e. no car, restricted money and all that entails, etc., etc.) because I knew that I would know God in ways I couldn't otherwise. And for the first time I was actually wanting to be in the circumstances we were in cause I was so excited to know God in this way! I felt like the weight of a thousand bricks were lifted off my back. It was no longer about enduring but an absolute embracing the life God has given me. God amazes me so much how He can change a person with just a few moments in His presence.
So fast forward to later that day. We were at a person's house for a "superbowl" party for one of Australia's rugby leaugues Grand Finals. And long story short, we left that evening with a car!
I remember when Brandon came and told me they were giving us a car my first thought was no! I'm supposed to live in caves!! And then I thought it must be to help us get to and from work that night, cause their house was too far me to walk. And Brandon was like no, we get to use the car for good. And I told him no, they have other college students who live with them that use it. I was convinced he was horribly mistaken, that there was no way we were getting a car!
Well, yes, we got a car. This amazing, beautiful, and generous family gave us their extra car at no cost to us, with all registatration and insurance paid until June of 2011!! To say it is a "blessing" is an understatement and almost cheapens the whole affair. I am overwhelmed by God in this situation. I know that he was working in me over the weekend to prepare me for what He knew was already taking place.
And my whole week has been just one thing after another of being completely and undeservedly blessed by my Father through the body of Christ. From my tips at work to someone buying tickets for our family to go to the Jenolan Caves. I just am so overwhelmed. I know I keep using that word, but I don't know what else to say. There have been many times where I asked God, but what about living in the caves? This week has felt like anything but caves.
But maybe that is exactly it. Maybe the caves are never what we think they will be. We assume they are horrible and hard and dark. And without God they are. But when we experience God in those places we become overwhelmed with the goodness and beauty the caves provide. And we can be like David who was literally living in caves with absolutley nothing and still overflow with praise of the goodness of our God!
I pray you will be encouraged in whatever circumstance you find yourself in, that God's thoughts and plans for you are always good! Let us not hold back or shy away from where He is leading us, even if it seems scary or too difficult. We need to learn to trust Him that even in difficulty He will always lead us to His goodness. Let us press into Him and the things of Him, whatever that it requires of us, because God desires to be known by us in those places. The more we can lean into Him and less on ourselves, the more we can know Him. The more we know Him, the more we will experience and know His goodness. And the more we know of His goodness the more we can begin to see the beauty of the caves.
I pray immense blessings on you today and revelation of God's heart for you. You are more special than you know and we so appreciate and love each of you.
Love from the Griffin Clan

Friday, October 1, 2010

God in the Caves Pt. 1

So today has been a pretty bad day. Just one of those frustrating, annoying kind of days that just needs to hurry up and get over with so you can start again tomorrow. I hate those days. They really, really stink. It starts out with just small things, and then those small things attract more small things till you have this giant snowball of stress that is just following you everywhere you go. Which just makes you more annoyed with everything and everyone around you. And so your snowball gets even bigger.

For me, it usually will turn into the comparing game. Well, my day wouldn't be so bad if... my life was like so-and-so's, or I had such-and-such, or whatever I am attributing my bad day to. And I get all irritated with life and God, because somehow I attribute it to being God's fault and doing.

I mean, aren't I supposed to be blessed when I serve Him, and if I'm not as "blessed" as "others" around me, then God, what in the world are You doing? Why do you like them better? Why do you not see fit to let me have some ease and "blessing" in my life? That's just not fair, right? Wrong. Oh so very, very wrong. And I know it in my head, but it's that danged traveling to my heart that always gets derailed and lands in poor-pitiful-me-land. Yes, it's true. Just having a transparent moment here.

It is in these moments that I really allow my focus to get totally off track. I began placing value on the external instead of the eternal. I focus on what I don't have instead of what I do have. And I don't mean "I have my health, a wonderful family, roof over my head, etc." because, bah humbug! Sometimes that just doesn't help. Someone else's roof is always better and someone else's family has it better than ours because they get to do more/have more stuff, and I could go on and on because I am really good at this game.

But what I am talking about is something that became very real to me today. The realization that I have something that no one else has. And it is something I wouldn't trade for the world. My relationship with God. And before you think, but there are millions who have a relationship with God, even me! I do not mean a relationship with God, I mean my relationship with God. My very real and very personal relationship with God. There is no one who knows Him like I do. Wow, what a thought!

No one has been through what I have been through with Him, no one has heard the things He has whispered to me, no one has felt Him like I have, no one has known me inside and out like He does, and because of those things no one can give Him what I can give Him, my heart and my worship. No one has what I have with him, because it's mine. No one else can have what I have with Him because no one else is me. Pretty cool, huh?

How amazing is our God that He can take one thing, like how much He loves us, and spend lifetimes telling humanity over and over again, over thousands of years, multiple times a day, and not once would it ever be the exact same. Because we are not the exact same. Where we were in our life circumstance when He spoke it, what our background is, things we have experienced, or not experienced, what our personalities are like, what did it heal or free in us, our hopes and dreams. All that plays a part. And since we are each our own unique and separate person, our response, our worship, will never be like someone else's. And I absolutely love that! I love that no one can give God what I can give God!

Just like no two snowflakes are the same, not a single fingerprint is the same, and each and every day the sunsets all over the world are unique and never before made. I don't believe for a moment that God has 565 sunsets He just does over and over like a playlist on an ipod. What a creative, amazing, personal God that we have! It is hard for me to fathom.

So yes, there are so many things that I don't have and don't get to do that millions of people around me have and get to do. And while not a single circumstance of my life may ever change, none of that really matters, because I am indeed blessed. Not because I have much in the way of external "blessing" compared to most, but because I have an eternal, prized possession more valuable than any external blessing this life, or even God, could give me. My own, irreplaceable moments with Him. Moments that brought knowledge and revelation of who He is to me personally, the experience of His healing love and power, and moments that have given way to my unique, personal expression of freedom to worship Him. Those things are eternal, lasting forever and ever, they can never be taken away, and they belong to Him and me alone. They are worth anything I must endure while on this earth, however large or small it seems.

Psalm 73:25-26

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And I have no delight or desire on earth besides You.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the Rock and firm Strength of my heart and my Portion forever."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"I am Beautiful" part 1

Hello Lovelies Wherever You Are! I hope you are doing amazing today. I just wanted to share with you what I thought was an absolutely breathataking scripture that I found! Psalm 33:1 reads, "Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful."
Praise from the upright is beautiful. Selah (pause and think on that).
Who doesn't want to be attractive in life? Whether physical, personality, etc. We want others to want to be around us. And sometimes we will do the most ridicuous things to try and make it happen!
Who doesn't like to be around beautiful people? Beauty attracts. Physical beauty attracts. Emotional beauty attracts. Beautiful places, beauty in nature, beauty in art. We as humans are attracted to beauty and have an innate desire to be beautiful ourselves. Why? Because we are made in the image of God and God is beautiful and is attracted to beauty.
About a week ago, in my quiet time, I was in a moment where I was just blown away with the thought and realization that God not only loves me, He likes me. He likes being with me. He is drawn and attracted to me. What a concept.
It is not based on doing things for Him or only when I am feeling, or being, "superspiritual". It is not a robotic, I-am-God-therefore-I-must-love-you-with-my-generic-God-like-Love. NO! It is based on the specific uniqueness of who I am that grabs the heart and attention of God towards me. And you. Whether it is because He thinks you are funny or loves to hear your deep, contemplative thoughts, or loves the way you are good with people, or you truly enjoy fixing things with your hands. Whatever! He thoroughly enjoys YOU! And one of the most beautiful and breathtaking things about you to God is when you praise Him.
I know, I know, but praise is one of those super spritual things right? Wrong. We make it super spritual. If we look at the first part of that verse, " Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise..." The psalmist is equating praise with rejoicing in the Lord. The dictionary defines rejoice as "taking delight in, to be glad". That's it! Take delight in the Lord for He takes delight in YOU. It's as simple as that.
First things first, be glad at what God has made you. Take delight in the simplicity of a Father that thinks you are something pretty special. Whatever you are doing right now, stop and take a moment to pick one thing about yourself that is an innate trait of yours, put there by God Himself and thank Him for it.
Don't just love yourself for the sake of loving yourself. That is futile and fruitless. Understand that the One who painted the sunsets, colored the depths of the ocean, and crafted the canyons and mountains, painted and colored You. He crafted You. Thank Him for your hair color, for your height, your body shape and size, for your mental abilities, artistic abilities, your ability to trouble shoot complex things, to make people laugh, etc.
Pick something that you may think is totally useless and thank Him and give HIM praise for it. Psalm 139:14, " I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." And then let Him talk to you about it. You will be shocked at what He has to say. He thinks it is beautiful, and when we praise Him for it we become even more beautiful to Him. He can't help but be attracted to us. For praise (however small we think it may be) from the upright is beautiful!
I truly pray that you would know the height, depth, and width of the love of our God for you today. Because when you do, it will revolutionize your life and rock your world forever.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Elephant Wisdom

So. I know it has been a bit since the last one and I said I would begin to keep up better, but we all know the story... too busy, too tired, etc., and for me the real big thing is I try to make things too perfect (shock and awe, I know ;). Seriously though, I could blog every day. My problem is, I don't always have a computer... and then, even if I did, we would fall back into previously said dilemmas (busy, tired, etc.). So, I have decided I will try, key word-TRY, to do smaller, shorter blogs more often. Just quick updates, thoughts, things God is doing, saying, etc.
Truly this will be so much better because, as some friends and I were talking the other day, when we talk to family and friends back home SO MUCH is going on, internally and externally, on so many levels, that you really don't even know where to start when trying to relay things. So, how do you eat an elephant? That's right, say it with me... "one bite at a time"! (which, in my personal opinion, is really quite a gross analogy).
So on to our first analogical bite (what???). Last I wrote, I was busy being squeezed through a metal door getting my flesh ripped off ;). Don't worry, it was just a flesh wound! What a time of inner testing and struggle we endured at first, but we feel that now we have truly entered into a time of breakthrough in circumstances, as well as just a shattering of mindsets and attitudes that, in all truth, were downright ugly and a hindrance to moving forward in our lives with God.
Next bite. Jobs. I am very, very happy to report that both B and I have jobs as of yesterday!! I will work as a waitress at Outback Steakhouse, which is more than ironic to me, and B got hired on at a production company. Right now, he works in the warehouse loading and unloading sound equipment and such from trucks. It pays to be big in this case, literally :). The guy that is his boss used to be on staff at Hillsong under Darlene Zscech (in production) and they do alot of the big Hillsong events, etc. It is just another great opportunity to learn and be a part of such amazing people's lives.
School. Brandon is still loving his classes. He will blog at some point more on that cuz I really don't know anything :) . He is currently being trained as the Technical Director of Sisterhood, which honestly, I am not sure all that it entails, but basically he will be in charge of making sure all things technical (i.e. sound, sound checks, lighting, tv crew, the live links between campuses, etc., etc., etc.) are all running smoothly, on time, trouble shooting as problems arise, etc.! And then after every Sisterhood he will be debriefing the entire team on what things went well and not so well, etc. It is such a great opportunity and I am SO proud of him. I know he will do an awesome job at it once his training is done.
Life is settling down and we are starting to feel like normal people again. And it officially took me 8 weeks to get behind on life. That has to be a record of some sort! Maybe that's why I feel normal now... b/c my days are spent trying to catch up!! We have met some truly amazing people here and really enjoying our new friendships.
So far, all I can tell you about Hillsong Church is that it is not what you, as outsiders looking in, think it is (and what we thought). Now that we have been here for 2 1/2 months (which is not long at all), we are just beginning to experience the heartbeat of this church and all I can say is, I'm in love.
Just one quick, and rather important, amazing testimony of our God that we wanted to share, and this will take some vulnerability on our part to share this, but think it is important and worth doing so. Shortly after we moved here we shared with a lot of you the state of our finances. Without going into a lot of the detail again, after getting here we realized our finances were scheduled to run out 4-6 weeks after we arrived. Well they lasted 4 weeks and then were totally, completely gone. We are now on week 11 and have never missed a rent payment (which is weekly) or gone without food or any necessity! Through the generosity of family and friends back in the States, and even through our new friends and family here, for 7 weeks God has Faithfully and Miraculously showed up, meeting our every need and completely blowing our minds along the way. We, as people, do not even comprehend the word Father and Love the way He so desires us to.
I cannot tell you how difficult this process was for us to be that reliant on God, DAILY, in a way we have never experienced in our lives. At first it drained us on a consistent basis, but then as God proved Himself over and over again, and really dealt with our hearts and attitudes, I can honestly say that it really became such a minor thing in our lives to deal with. There were days I didn't even think about it b/c of the reality that it became for me that my God, my Father, was completely aware of our needs and was absolutely going to look out for me and my family. So THANK YOU to those who have given, and still are, and have been praying for us. You just do not know what it means to us. Truly.
Well, I am feeling pretty full on this elephant for now, how about you? We will have to save the rest for another day. I know this one is a little long, and they won't be from here on out, but before I go, we do want to always let you know what areas you can be praying about for us and with us.
1) We really need a car. It takes me about 45 min or so to walk to work and it takes Brandon an hour to walk to his work, which he did yesterday in the rain.
2) Just continued prayer for finances. Though we have jobs, our paychecks have not kicked in yet and will not be at their best for a couple weeks.
3) Favor, open doors and opportunities, etc. as we seek to live out all that God has for us in this life so that we can truly be a blessing to others, making an impact on this earth for the kingdom of God.
Love to all who read this. And know that God's plans for you and your family are above all that you could ever think, ask, or hope.
Jz, B, Sas, and our Chinese son, Asher

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hello Beautiful People!!

We have been in Sydney, Australia for 7 weeks now and cannot believe how quickly time is going! Last week we finally got internet (what a story that was!) and so now have the opportunity to blog about our time and experiences here.
Truly though, so much has happened during our time without internet that I hardly even know where to start. God's provision and favor has been with us since the beginning. Just one thing after another - housing, roommates, furnishings, etc. it was a real encouragement.
Just little things even, like praying (some might call it whining :) about not being able to drink coffee in the morning and then voila! A perfectly good coffee maker appears on the side of the road. Just a side note to all who are not familiar with this concept... everyone puts their stuff on the side of the road... it's really weird, but highly beneficial to us! We got our couch, t.v., coffee pot, desk, t.v. stand, and more. all on someone's curb to be thrown out! It truly is amazing how God provides. And a crazy thing is, in some weird way, all of our stuff coordinates and matched rather well with the each other and the house. Which if you saw the house or our couch, you would know what an accomplishment of heaven that is :).
We have truly had to buy very little for the house between curbs, the college storage, and wonderful people who donated so much to us. Even toys for the kids! I have felt so blessed by God and the body of Christ.
Quick rundown of everything (will go more in detail about stuff later but just trying to catch up right now). B is in his third week of school now and he is LOVING it! Everyday he comes home just overflowing with the stuff they are teaching. He "RPL'd" his first year, which basically means that they took all of his CFNI classes and decade of experience and gave him credit for his first full year. So he is officially in second year now. He serves in the production every Sunday and does "lock and load" every week for Sisterhood (more about Sisterhood later). And he plays football every Thursday morning as his elective. He's pretty happy!
As far as the kids and I are concerned, we have tons, if not too much, to do! Between all the services over the weekend, Sisterhood, connect groups, and the homeschooling groups we are never left bored for long. This makes me very happy :)! And the kids are really enjoying it all as well.
Which by the way, as of today, Safari is officially registered to homeschool in New South Wales. Yay!! We had the home visit this morning and we passed... whew! Now the trick lies in actually carrying out all that I said I would ;). God has been doing so much in my heart concerning this area, I am truly excited to see what He does with this. But once again, more on that later.
Let's see... what else?? The church! Hillsong Church blows my mind every week. I cannot even begin to express my thoughts and feelings on the subject for a couple of reasons. One being, it would take up too much space. I will have to save it for it's very own blog, or two, or three. Two being, that it will take me some time to even articulate it into the words that could truly bring justice to this amazing place... and that will take some time. A luxury of which I am out of for this day.
I am sitting here just trying to think of one or two sentences that could quickly encapsulate for you, all that this place is and means to me (us) and I can't. All I can do is just feel this amazing wave of emotion that is just not yet ready to be confined and restricted to words on a page. But I will soon. I promise. I will get my write on and do my absolute best, as writer, to take you on a journey as much as possible and let you experience even just a smidgen of what Hillsong is like. It could just change your life ;).
At the risk of taking too much of your time, I will quickly give some highlights and lowlights of our life in Australia. We don't have dryers so we hang all our clothes outside. It's kinda nice but really takes getting used to. I have to plan my whole day around doing my laundry. You have to know when it is going to rain, and get it out at the right times of the day, etc. It is a lot of work. And I don't care what anyone else says, dryers are more convenient! But it's cool. I am embracing it :).
We don't have a car so we walk everywhere. It is about a mile or so to the church. B walks there every day, sometimes multiple times a day. The kids and I walk there at least 5 times a week. We walk about a mile and a half going to the grocery store and back. I will be honest, I cringe when I have to go to the grocery store. It is just not fun bringing all that back and I usually have to struggle to not be in a bad mood by the time we get home, but once again, I choose to embrace it. I feel for the kids because this is a ton of walking for little legs, but they do so awesome. I am so proud of them!
There are so many other things to talk about, but I will have to save it for next time. I know that this is said and used so many times that I am almost reluctant to say it, but I will anyway. Please keep us in your prayers. As wonderful as certain aspects are, it is really hard. So hard sometimes that I really question what in the world we are doing! I feel like life is in survival mode just about everyday and I am getting really sick of that feeling. Jobs seem an impossibility to get here and we never know how we are going to pay for anything, but each and every time God comes through in such amazing and miraculous ways.
We both feel that immense stretching and inner pressure that comes with God pushing you to new territory with Him, and you are just not quite sure if you have what it takes or if you are going to make it through on the other side in one piece. The best way I can describe it is like God is trying to squeeze you through a metal opening that the door has been blown off and so the opening is very jagged, sharp metal. An even bigger problem is, it is about three times too small for you to fit. You have no option of turning around, so you just squeeze yourself through. In doing this you feel the jagged metal cutting into your flesh and ripping you to shreds as you pass though to the other side. Lovely, isn't it? :) But I suppose that is the point. He wants to rip off some our "flesh" so that more of Him can be revealed in and through us. And for that reason, we keep going. Offering every aspect of it as worship to Him because He is the only one worth going through all of this for.
Don't misunderstand me. I am happy. I am very happy here. Even in the midst of all of this my soul is more satisfied than it has ever been. True, I have days where all I wanna do is get on a plane and go home. Mostly because home is easy. And sometimes I am tired of the struggle and the inner pressure, tired of keeping my faith up and squeezing through that door, but even still God has revealed Himself to us even more precious than ever. And so we press on, and as Bobbie Houston so beautifully said, just let the road teach us what the road needs to each us. I just pray that this is a short road we are on. More like a quick jaunt down the road :).

We love you all and pray God's immense love and blessing on your life so that you may know Him more.
The Griffins

Monday, June 14, 2010

Griffin Journey Update!

Hi everyone!! Well, we haven't updated in awhile cause things have been crazy busy around here. Everyday is spent hacking away at our ever growing to-do list, all the while seeing family and raising two little kids!!
We leave in two weeks, 16 days to be exact, and we couldn't be more excited! It will be so nice to see all this preparation finally turn into reality. But we are still enjoying every last moment with friends and family.
We have made some amazing connections over there already that have proven themselves invaluable to us. They have given us so much insight and direction, helping us to connect with the right people concerning different areas for our family, and just really been wonderful people! I can't wait to meet all of them. We can't even express how much they have helped our family and how much easier it makes going into this, with such support on the other side.

We did want to update you guys on one thing. We are now set up to receive tax-deductible donations. If at any time you feel led to give towards our ministry endeavors and help support our family during this time, you can do so in a way that is beneficial to you too!

I know that things are tight for so many people right now and it is really hard for us to even ask for money. Really hard. Just to be honest, it makes us extremely uncomfortable. Why? I don't actually know.
I know that this is how the kingdom of God works and I personally LOVE helping others when they are in need or stepping out to serve God. I know others are the same way and that by not allowing them an opportunity to be a part of what God is doing we are robbing them of receiving a blessing. A blessing from God for their giving heart, a blessing of being able to help their fellow brother and sister in Christ, and a blessing of getting to be a part of something bigger than themselves! All because we want to be self-sufficient or are afraid of offending, etc. At this point, we are having to really get beyond ourselves and extend our invitation to you. Please join with our family as we move forward to serve God with, literally, everything that we have.
We ask that you would prayerfully consider financially supporting our family in any amount with either a one time gift, or even a monthly commitment as Brandon is only allowed 20 hrs per week to work. We know God will provide for us, as He has already done miracles beyond belief up until this point. So all that is left is to invite you to be a part of what God is doing in and through our lives, and then in turn believe that He will bless you beyond what you could ever think, hope, or imagine!

Checks can be sent , with "Australia" in the memo, to:
Love Speaks
8205 Navigation Dr.
Rowlett, Tx 75088

We will also be setting up a paypal very soon for you guys which should make giving a whole lot easier. We'll let you know as soon as that is done.
And of course we can never, ever underestimate the power of prayer. Please remember our family in your prayers and feel free to leave comments here or drop us a line on facebook. We love being able to stay connected with you guys.

Much Love,
The Griffin Family

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Melancholy's Wings...

So it is all really beginning to sink in right about now. On that level where you can't divert focus from anything negative or less than ideal, by only focusing on the "excitement" and "newness" of the whole venture. I have no idea where are life is going to go after this, if I'll like living over there, where we will end up after wards, etc., etc., etc.
I am gearing myself to not see my family for two years. Safari will be almost 9, Asher will be 6 the next time I see my family. My nephews and nieces will be so grown. Will they know me anymore? And honest truth, will I see everyone again? Cause you never know what life holds.
I am not trying to be negative or say I wish we weren't doing this. Cause truth be told, if God gave me the choice right now to keep moving forward or give me a solid life (a home, good income, close to family, all the "securities" of life, etc), I'd still pick this. Hands down, no contest.
And it's not cause it's not hard, cause it is very hard. Many times harder than I like to let on. Because I am always the happy, positive, ready to blaze a new trail, anything is possible kind of person. And that
is who I am, it's not just a facade. I really believe that way. But occasionally I reach those points where I have to pause and dig that conviction in a little deeper (Dan. 1:8), set my gaze a little stronger (Is. 50:7), and then keep moving forward.
Because more than anything in this life, I want to know that I truly lived out my purpose. That I never let "life" and my culture's expectations of life dictate what I do. That I would be one who helped usher in the kingdom of God onto this earth in the here and now because of the life that I lead, regardless of what it costs me. That I was willing to lay down my life to do my part in freeing people from the injustices of this world, even if it meant giving up my own comfort and opening up my eyes and heart to the suffering of real, breathing human beings all around me.
Because I know that my life is not my own. It is only on loan. And one day I will have to give an account of everything I did and didn't do. Ephesians 2:10 says, " For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." So I know He has predetermined steps for me to take and works for me to do. And they are all for His glory, not for my own comfort and preference. I live for the day I will hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant". Cause in the end, eternity is all that matters. And everything I do now determines that.
If my life brings anyone closer to Jesus in any capacity then it is worth it. It is worth not having a home, a "normal" life for my kids, feeling broke compared to everyone else, being misunderstood by others, uncertain future, laying down dreams, hopes, and desires, and whatever else you got. I just have to trust that He has it all covered, and my kids covered, and that it is working for the good of my whole family. Because that's the God I serve.
So this was me, digging my conviction in a little deeper and setting my gaze a little stronger. Thank you for bearing with me and I hope maybe you gained something out of this... If not, I sure feel better! :)
Rita Springer sang one of my all time favorite songs, "Worth it All". Been a bit of my life's mantra :). Take a look at the video below. It is more for the song, less for the video. In fact not for the video at all! It's all I could find. Just listen, and I pray God would speak to your heart and give you grace for whatever lies ahead in your future.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

We're On Our Way!

Wow. So much has happened in the last few weeks that I don't really even know where to begin. Informatively speaking, we have been approved for our visa for Brandon to study in Australia for two years and have bought our plane tickets, so we are officially on our way! Hooray! What a headache that was and what an inward journey we went through to get that point.

I won't bore you with the details, but we really had to battle our way both spiritually and naturally to get our visas. But God is faithful (as always) and answered in such a special and beautiful way, just like our sister in Mexico prayed He would do. So thank you to all who prayed for us, those in Australia who gave me contacts to help me, and those who contacted the immigration dept. for us on our behalf, etc.

Our last official day here is June 28th, as we leave first thing in the morning on the 29th. So we will be trying to fit in as much visits with family and friends before then as we can, as well as get the rest of our stuff sold, and work as much as possible before we leave. It will be a busy two months. Wow... only two months.

Now, just some personal updates on our family. Brandon has started his temp job with the census. Don't know how long it will last, but it is a great opportunity and though I am still working, it gives me a chance to be home a little more. I miss being a mommy. And anyone that knows me, to say that is huge!!! As I do not have a natural tendency towards the domestic :).

We were also able to spend a week down in Padre for some much needed R&R as a family. We originally were just going down for a day or two to take some new clothes over to an orphanage across the border but were able to get a few days in at the beach as well. Happiness!!!

The week turned out to be so much more than we planned. I love how God does that so often. He uses our wimpy little plans and then blows our expectations out of the water! I will be blogging on that later as it truly deserves its very own and I want to invite you to be a part of something awesome that God is doing. So stay tuned!

A few pics of our week in S. Padre for you:

Safari is determined to be a surfer girl

Look out Baywatch!!

Brandon, Safari, and Asher passing out clothes

Safari playing with the kids

Love to you All!

The Griffins