untitledThe LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26/ESV)

Summer will be upon us soon. In Houston we are experiencing unseasonably cool weather. It is something to celebrate as we anticipate a hot summer.

As seasons change, so does life.

1As many of you know, John and I are new parents. After being in the workforce and a volunteer church worker for nearly 30 years, I must say wifing and mothering is my favorite vocation. This is a season to invest time, energy and resources into our marriage and into our daughter. It is requiring a level of focus that I am getting used to, but not quite there yet.

2I am going to sign off of GodReflection after 100 plus posts. I have been so humbled that Gary would see anything in my writing and want to share his audience with this writer-at-large. I know many in Gary’s audience, and it is a grand list of names. I know most – if not all – of you are more qualified to write on GodReflection than I have been.

I admire Gary for starting a public conversation about how to reflect God in one’s personal walk with honesty and authenticity. Gary has not only sought to speak back to those whom he admires and have laid the ground work for his own spiritual walk, he also seeks to broaden the GodReflection audience to those who are not necessarily in his circle of influence.

3Enter me, an ordinary person born into extraordinary circumstances. I have been privileged to be among those in Gary’s circle. Were it not for Jesus, I would not have known Gary and all our mutual acquaintances. You are my spiritual family, and those whom God has chosen for me to walk with on earth, whether in person on online.

My prayer is that many of you who are more qualified than I to write might consider writing from time to time for GodReflection about your own authentic journey before the Lord. Many of us have seen your work, but would love to hear you heart as Gary has opened his.

4It takes great courage to put your heart out before people for free as Gary has. It takes great love to open up one’s thoughts knowing what God has laid on one’s personal thought-life may be debated heatedly or shunned entirely. And yet, I have not seen these character traits in this audience. I have seen mutual respect and humility, the very character traits this world needs to see more of, particularly on the blogosphere.

There are those who are not able to get to a fellowship on a regular basis, but enjoy reading the thoughts of others who love the Lord.

There are those who may not be free to express their love for Jesus outright without repercussion of some sort, but who are encouraged when reading writings from others who love Jesus.

I personally would love to hear more from others who’ve walked the road of life as a Christian longer than I have, and how to aim for the grace and peace that one so needs in good and trying times.

5There are many other reasons why the world is thirsty for authentic writing that is God-focused. My prayer is that every piece I have written has encouraged at least one person on their walk in the Lord, for one person is a universe who can affect those around them tremendously when filled with the Spirit and encouragement from their forever family.

As I sign off, I want to make one last confession. This time period that I have written for GR has been my most trying in my walk on earth to date, and yet the opportunity to write gave this Jesus-lover an opportunity to share His Love while awaiting the day God planned for us to become parents. We would ask for your prayers as often as you think of us as we parent our dear Monika in the Lord, as we’ve sought only to lift you up in prayer as we think of you.

6Should you want to know more about our adoption journey, please request to join the Facebook private group called Hugs For Monika (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1183731238312398/ ), and message me privately to let me know you heard about me on GodReflection. My Facebook and Hugs for Monika account was hacked and therefore I need to be sure my readers are real. It is not necessary to be friends with me on Facebook to read our journey. I also write a blog called Coffee At My Table (http://coffeeatmytable.blogspot.com ), though it has not been updated in a while due to our new season as parents. My prayer is that the anecdotal articles on CAMT will encourage and inspire you or bring some joy to your soul.

7My last request is that you pray for me as a writer, that God bless all of my writings for His glory as well as be a means of financial support when appropriate. In it all, we have encountered much good humor and therefore I would like to explore this genre a bit more. The world seems to need some more genuine laughs if it is to survive another generation. I also have one project on my backburner that I would love to finish, but it must come behind my marriage and parenting for the moment. A wise elder told John and I when we married to take our first year to bond, and we are so glad we did. We are doing the same with our daughter, learning to navigate the ups and downs of life together that we leave a Godly heritage upon meeting the Lord. We are so fortunate and thankful to be parents to a gracious and grateful daughter and aim to capture every moment as we know time is short.

8May God bless you richly in your lives as you serve God’s Kingdom in your own way, with all the love you have, with the resources He has given you to bless those around you with the Gospel; both spoken and unspoken. For with God we don’t have to wonder where we are going, for we who aim to live the grace of our Lord Jesus within our worlds are headed to the most amazing place together, Heaven.

This is the benediction my parents’ mission team sang to each other each time a team member and their family returned Stateside from the mission field in Brazil. As we would say in portugues, “até logo,” or “until soon.”

Until we meet again, be blessed!

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