Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Acts 8 and an Aisle Seat


I've heard courage isn't the absence of fear, but moving forward despite fear... 

I was in the A boarding group, but somehow I got stuck in an aisle seat. For the record, I'm a window seat person - very much a window seat person. 

*Lord, an aisle seat? Really?* 
I tend to find myself praying over the most trivial things. 

But to work my way through the salmon run line of people stuffed in the 737-sized aisle did not appeal to my introvert-inclined personality. I slumped in my seat in subjection to my situation. 

The flight attendant pulled the door shut and started the inflight safety demo. 
Glancing across the aisle to the row next to me, I noticed a lady reading her Bible. She was in the last few chapters of Luke. 

*Aubrey, you need to talk to her.* 

*Excuse me, Lord. I don't think so.*

I was momentarily distracted as our bluebird thundered down the runway. 
A few minutes later…

*Aubrey, you need to talk to her.* 
*Ahem! Lord, please no. I don't know what I would say, and plus…I'm completely exhausted. This is not a good idea.* 

The impressions kept coming, and I kept resisting.   

39,000 feet. 
Suspended between heaven and earth.
En route from St. Louis to Dallas. 
The battle rages up there too.
*Maybe this isn't God asking. I mean, if she's really engrossed in reading, I would hate to interrupt her.*

Then I started analyzing. 
New Bible. 

She was now in John. 

*Ya, I really shouldn't bother her. If she was sitting next to me, that would be a different scenario. But to start conversation across the aisle, that seems too intrusive.*
*Aubrey, TALK TO HER* 

Friends, the battle is very real. My hands were sweating, my heart was racing. Then I remembered Justin Kim's sermon from Sabbath…"drunk with the Holy Spirit." 

*Ok Lord. Help me. I have no clue what or why, but here it goes…1…2…3* (counting can be motivating:) 

I leaned across the aisle and lightly tapped her arm. She started. I winced. My introverted-ness rolled in agony.

"Uh…hi. How are you?"  
She looked confused. 
"My name is Aubrey and I happened to notice what you were reading. Do you enjoy it?" 

She smiled. 
"I do actually. I've just recently started reading it again. My pastor is encouraging us to read, and there's so many things going on in my life that I'm searching for answers. Do you like it?" 

I swallowed hard. 
"Ya, I do. I like it a lot." 
Reaching down to my backpack, I pulled out my black book.
"John is actually one of my favourite books in the Bible." 

And the conversation went from there. 
When she asked me where I was coming from, I briefly relayed how we shot a video about this book called The Great Controversy. She lit up. "Where do I find that book? I'm very interested to read it."
David wasn't in the room for the photo;)

"It is an incredible book, and if you're interested in getting a deeper look into the life of Christ, I would also recommend a book called The Desire of Ages. But when you read these books, read them alongside the Bible. They're so much much better together." 

She was enthused, so I wrote down the titles for her and my information to contact me for free copies of the books.

When she discovered I worked part-time for a health organization, she was even more excited.
"You know, I've recently become convicted that God desires us to be restored body, mind, and soul. Religion is more than head knowledge, it also brings health to my body, and I'm really wanting to start seeing changes my life." 
My mouth about dropped open. 
"I completely agree. In fact, that's a huge part of why I do what I do." 

I shared a little about our family farm, and how I was going from being an independent girl, living outside my home, to a girl that worked within a family unit under the authority of father and brother, supporting a team spirit and striving for a BetterTogether life - a reflection of God's image. 

"How did you get to that point?" 

"God:) When God says He changes the heart, He meant it. And I had to keep believing that He would do what He said. It hasn't been an easy journey. In fact, I frequently think of it as a labor of blood, sweat, and tears. It means surrendering myself every morning and being willing to hurt. And you know, I wouldn't change it for anything in the world." 

She shook her head in amazement, smiling.  
"So what gave you the idea of tapping my arm?" 
"Are you familiar with the story of Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch?" 
"No. Tell me about it." 
"Well, you see Phillip was one of Christ's disciples and God told him to go into the desert…[insert the story yourself]…and you can find it in Acts 8." 
"Oh good! That's the next book I will be reading." 

The nose of our bird tilted down as we came in to pancake.  
When we reached the gate, people again clotted the plane's artery anticipating release (ever wondered why folks do that? I still can't figure it out)  
My new friend was swept off with the herd. I thought she'd probably gone for good, but when I finally got off the plane, she was waiting for me at the gate. 

"I just wanted to thank you for tapping me on the arm and for our conversation. It was a huge blessing and I'm convinced that God is calling me to take more steps in my life. I'll definitely get those books." 

I gave her a hug and she left. 
I was left blown away that God did it again.  

So…take away? 
I'm not complaining next time I'm stuck in the aisle seat:) 

Courage, friends!! Our God is good! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013


I collect words. 

They fascinate me. 

Words. Definitions. Quotes. Articles. Letters. Books.


It's a word I found June 27, 2011. Funny how some dates just stick. Mom and I were on our way to Weimar, Ca. Car trouble left us "stranded" in Colorado Springs. While we waited on the mechanics, we wandered around the Olympic Training Center. In an exhibit hall were the words hanging above photos of athletes. 

“Praxis” means not only to try, but also to penetrate, to fight, to give in, to win, to lose, to kneel down, to get up, to accept the struggle and fight until the last breath...

After journaling about the word, preaching about the word - when it came time to name my blog, it only seemed to fit. Little did I know when I started the blog that I would one day be a farmer...

...and that farming would teach me some of the hardest lessons of Praxis. 

For example: 
Throughout the spring, I learned to work in the cold, in the rain, in the dark, in the storm. 
The end of spring, we were slammed by a hailstorm which shredded most of the work from the spring. 

The earth began the work on process of recovery. 

But now...clouds of grasshoppers munch, spider mites coat tomato plants, cucumber plants wilt on their strings. Chiggers leave artistic designs around my waist and down my legs. Sweat races to my eyes and tomato stain clings tenaciously to my hands. 

And I wonder..."when is this thing going to get easier?" 

Heh - and the faithful word reminds me. 

“Praxis” means not only to try, but also to penetrate, to fight, to give in, to win, to lose, to kneel down, to get up, to accept the struggle and fight until the last breath...

When is it going to get easy? 

And I wonder...do I really want it to? 

God is in the process of building farmers.
In the words of one of my favourite writers: 
"...God made us quiet people who'd live lives not afraid of dirt or only the applause of God." 

Glory pulses through this work. To handle the dead, the dying, the new, the living...to see grace in action, to learn to listen, to understand the way of the complexly simple. 
It can be easy to forget that God works in the small things, in ways mostly unnoticed to others...in ways that teach me the glory comes from Him and goes to Him. 

And He can take everything destroyed and show that He has designed life to be resilient, to recover, to restore, and when we think it's over, it yields a greater blessing than before. 

God is making quiet people who live lives not afraid of dirt - the dirt from whence plants sprout, and the dirt-made-man who breathe the breath of the Creator - or only the applause of God. 

In the tomato house

Cherry tomatoes(taller than me) bear bountifully

Our grasshopper eradication crew

Pepper plants - completely recovered

The new field hacked from stone - good work, guys!

Flowering eggplant

Eggplant - more than recovered:)