Wednesday, December 31, 2014

14 Stretches and Blessings for 2014 [subscribe]

While we were in India, we would do a daily debrief with teams called "stretch & bless," where you would go around the dinner table and share one thing that stretched and bless you that day. Somedays your list of stretches would be so prevalent that the only bless you could think of was nap time. Other days you would be so overwhelmed with blessings that nothing seemed to stretch you that day. I can say without a doubt Caleb and I were stretched and blessed this last year, but through every stretch and blessing we have been able to see the goodness of our God and how He loves us. 

14 "Stretches and blessings" of 2014

  1. Stretch: The conflicting feelings of at times feeling lonely, but feeling sad to leave the family and community you've grown to love. 
  2. Bless: Living in community here in the Bay area and being so blessed by our church!
  3. Stretch: Fighting feelings of inadequacy as a wife, woman of God, and servant of the Lord.
  4. Bless: Feeling the freedom that comes with God's grace and strength to fight the lies of the enemy.
  5. Stretch: Being confronted with so many unresolved sin issues in dealing with conflict and communication in our marriage.
  6. Bless: Constantly being reminded of the covenant we made before God that sustains us to push through that conflict and work towards glorifying God in our marriage. 
  7. Stretch: Letting go of so many plans and control and following the Lord to India.
  8. Bless: Following the Lord to India to serve with Rahab's Rope and being blessed by the people who He grew our hearts for. 
  9. Stretch: Being pushed out of our comfort zones day in and day out for 11 weeks. Feeling unqualified in teaching and leading positions and knowing we had no idea what we were doing.
  10. Bless: That it is the Lord doing the work and is leading us through the things we know we cannot handle on our own merit!
  11. Stretch: Getting lice 4 times in India and after....praying that I don't get it again...
  12. Bless: Getting hugs and cuddles from the kids in the slums. As much as I hated lice, I could not think of not loving on those kids. 
  13. Stretch: Playing the waiting game. From applying to Rahab's Rope and waiting for a reply and then waiting to get all our funds in and now waiting to see where the Lord leads us next, it leaves one with constant butterflies and anxious feelings...
  14. Bless: After the waiting, came all the blessings of this last year. Experiencing new places with my husband (Bellingham, Canada, the Alaskan highway, Pennsylvania, New York City, India); ministering to the beautiful people of India; being used to the max for the Lord and His kingdom; leading a group of girls to Christ and discipling boys to be the next leaders in the Indian church. So many blessings. I know soon into 2015 those anxious feelings will fade into excitement for what the Lord will bring us next. I can't wait to see what He does this next year.

Blessings from the Sharps into this new year!

Though our time in India may be done (for now), we'd love to keep you posted on what endeavors the Lord will lead us next and build support for our next projects. We are really praying through returning to India with a team as soon as the Lord allows, so please stay posted with us and...

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