Monday, June 27, 2011

Really. Really? Really!

Don’t words just take on the most interesting meanings when you have teenage children, teenage grandchildren and/or you have nieces and nephews that are teenagers.  I never cease to be amazed at what this generation of teens has done to take the English language and make it over into a whole different style of communication.

There is one word that is a part of their vocabulary these days that I feel strongly that we as adults have rightly taken from them and we OWN IT as a response statement to some of the things they say and do! Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha. It is the word, “Really”.

It can be translated in many more voice tones than I can probably pen here but I think if you have teenagers you will understand what I am talking about and have used all of these 3 forms of “Really”.

The first “Really” response statement is a one word point which basically translates as:  (1) Ok, (2) I get it, (3) I got this, (4) For sure, (5) Done, etc.

The second “Really?” response statement questions the very core of the conversation you were just exposed to and is a short cut to not having to make the following comments such as:  (1) are you really asking me that again, (2) Am I supposed to believe this, (3) so “everyone” else is doing this and their parents approve, (4) I question this, (5) Haven’t we been here before?

The third “Really!” and my personal favorite response statement to the ridiculous stories teenagers come up with (seasoned with just the right amount of voice inflection) says so much that doesn’t have to be said, but if it was being said it would be something like:
(1) Do I have stupid stamped on my head? (2) You’ve got to be kidding me, (3) So you actually expect me to believe that? (4) Do I look like I left my brains at the house this morning? (5) ARE YOU SURE YOU CAME FROM OUR GENE POOL!!!!

You don’t have to be a trained counselor to recognize that I may have had to deal with a teenager today.  REALLY!   Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha 

We are getting closer in on our trip to Costa Rica. We are in that home stretch! Pray as we are getting the trunks packed. Because the team is spread out across several states, Oklahoma, AR, TX, and Arizona,  it has been pretty interesting getting the weight distribution correct. Pray for us as we continue to accomplish that! Everyone is getting more and more excited! Pray for all the DETAILS and Praise God HE is in the details. 

We have 31 Missionary women sponsored. Praise the LORD! We have only 19 more women to be sponsored for this trip. God is Good and His timing is perfect!

Love you.

Monday, June 20, 2011

From the Heart of a Missionary...

As I began to prepare the blog today I thought about how we are once again so close in and with 21 missionary women that still need to be sponsored. Again, leaning not on my own understanding but trusting God that HE will provide, I know my part is just to keep the need before everyone. As I was thinking about this I like to remind myself why we go to minister to those on the front line. I think one of the missionary women said it best from our last trip in Uganda and I wanted you to see why we don’t stop going, we don’t stop asking, we don’t stop giving, we don’t stop praying, we don’t stop because HE IS!
Here is a missionary from Uganda’s response to the Evaluation Questionnaire when asked, “What, if anything, would you recommend that we do differently or better?”

And I quote,
“Sorry, nothing. It was so amazing. Every time when I think back, I still can’t believe that some ladies in the world just came over here and overloaded us with love. I praise God for you every time when I think of it. He really is amazing. It took some time for me to fill in this evaluation because I was traveling straight after the retreat (P.S. I missed a question in this form about the little (and bigger) gifts we found every time on the table….I would have answered with: Amazing, it just never ended!) Now, five weeks after your visit, I am still having many times when I smile and thank God for what He did through you. May He continue to bless you, and all those ladies involved who made cards, presents, brought gifts, prayed, or supported in another way. May He bless your ministry when you go for other retreats to be a blessing for other ladies as well. You are very special!”

We, at Pure Joy, love to receive comments like this on the evaluation forms following a retreat but also know it is from the combination of affirmations of this level and constructive criticism that have continued to propel us forward with excellence as unto the LORD! I shared this one with you because it reveals the heart of 98% of the missionary women regarding their attitude about the teams that go, those that give, and those that pray.

We are in the home stretch now for Costa Rica. Packing will take place in approximately two weeks. Wow! We have had about 5 women that have had to remove themselves from attending due to life circumstances. But those places are already being filled by women on the waiting list. I love to watch how God works in the home stretch to have just the 50 women He intends to be at this particular retreat! HE CARES!

Love you guys….Give, Give, Give


Monday, June 13, 2011


I never cease to be amazed at the importance of preparation. Today I sit at the hospital with a dear friend as she and her husband await the arrival of the fourth child to their family. The delivery room has the bassinet prepared for little Sophia’s arrival into this world. The nurse has prepared mama for the delivery by connecting her to every possible machine in the room. The extended family members and family have rescheduled their day’s events in preparation for Sophia’s birth. Everything is in place for the celebration of Sophia’s entrance into this world. I pray even as I type these words that it is a safe and quick journey for all! Ha, ha,ha,ha
Preparing for a Retreat is much like this experience….First step is conception…just like there are several ways to conceive physically these days there are several ways for this to take place with Pure Joy as well. We get a request directly from a missionary woman, a friend, another missionary, a church family, etc., requesting us to bring a retreat to their area. Second step is dates....just like you try to figure out the due date of a child, we work with our contact on the field to determine the best time to come. The third step is telling people .......we do the same thing. We get the word out to the missionary women serving in the countries close to our contact person as well as potential churches and team members here in the states. The fourth step is the process of preparation….just like an expectant family gets things ready for the arrival of the baby; we get things ready for the arrival of the women to the retreat. The fifth step is the water breaks so you head to the hospital…. We are just short of the water breaking for Costa Rica. We have a few more preparations and 21 more missionaries that need to be sponsored for the trip. I am so excited to see God, as always, working on behalf of the women that will be attending! The team is getting more and more excited as the delivery draws near!!!! Please continue to pray and rejoice with us as God shows Himself during the final days of preparation!

Love you all so much and thank you for the privilege of walking together for Him!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

God Day...

You ever had one of those days that you just know in your heart God was walking with you just like a friend and talking as you go.  Well, yesterday (Tuesday) was one of those days for me.  Just Him saying “ ‘Hey’ I’m here and I’m mindful of you.”.

On Tuesdays I travel to Ft. Smith, AR, which is about 1 and ½ hours from our home, to provide counseling for married couples.  My mom usually packs my lunch - yes, you heard it correctly, ‘packs my lunch’  -  because she knows I get about a 30-45 min. break during the day and she is sweet to pack that lunch for me while I am getting ready early in the morning to leave out.   Yesterday when I pulled my lunch out there was a snack of banana and almonds for later, and a hamburger patty, steamed yellow and zucchini squash and sautéed spinach.  But it was what was sitting on top of the sautéed spinach that touched my heart.  There, as plain as day, was about a teaspoon or less of mayonnaise.  Yes, mayonnaise! (NOT MIRACLE WHIP).  Don’t get me started on the difference between the two!!  Anyway, when I saw that mayo on top of that spinach I got a lump in my throat.  My mom had not only fixed my lunch, she had intentionally -‘knowing me’ - put a little dab of mayo on that spinach because she knows I like that on spinach.  I took my lunch and walked across the building to visit with Melinda Sparkman-Hawkins  (Asst. to Kathy Coleman, Founder of the Worldwide Mom’s Day of Prayer  ) and was sharing with her how my mom had been so thoughtful.  As we visited she asked me where all Pure Joy had been in Africa.  I shared with her the places we had been and then she proceeded to tell me about an opportunity she had been a part of in ministering in Senegal, West Africa.  She then told me a story about something she had tried to ship to Senegal but the cost was going to be ‘outrageous’.  Then she said,  “how would you like to take what is in the box with you to Costa Rica!”  Wow!  Of course I would like to take it!!!!   (I can’t tell you what is in the box because the missionary women also read this blog and they need to be surprised!) However, I can tell you that we have NEVER taken such a thing before! Would not have even had the thought.  ONLY GOD!!!   Now I can’t wait to hear from one of those missionary women about that box and the purpose for what’s in it!  Because He didn’t just do that for no reason! 

Yesterday afternoon, as I waited between clients, it was like the LORD said "Vickie, I love you and those missionary women.  I know exactly what they need.   Remember I am in the details, the little things that make a big difference."  The little things that add my touch, that say, I am with you. I care, I know, I see, I can.  Wow!  It is so funny how He shows up, isn’t it!  Last week He showed up in my office through a very dear friend just hours after I had cried out to Him in prayer over an issue.  He actually spoke to my spirit during the prayer but He sent this dear friend as a ‘period’ at the end of the sentence to say…..And what I revealed to you, I meant!  Girls, He LOVES US!   So don’t forget…He is in the details and HE will show Himself to you!!! 

In 4 weeks we board the plane to head to Costa Rica!  This week I have settled down into my countdown towards boarding the plane and all the team members coming together for the first time at Houston International before we leave the country!  Can’t wait to get with the missionary women!  

Please continue to pray for the details!  Pray for the team, pray for our flights, pray for all the final planning that takes place in the home stretch.  And get excited about what God is up to in the home stretch!  Pray for the packing which gets kind of crazy when the team is spread out everywhere.  We still have 26 missionary women to sponsor so don’t put off giving if God has moved on your heart about it.  Get it done! 

I love you guys bunches.