Passport Stamps Make Me Smile

It’s hard to believe we’ve been in this beautiful place for over five months!  In fact, Christmas day will mark our sixth month here.  I wouldn’t trade the last six months for the world, but looking back on it, we’ve had some hard moments.  We’ve also had great moments, and a lot of really funny moments.  I’m coming to the conclusion that life is just life, no matter where you choose to do it.

Thanksgiving 2012 boys


Doing life together.  Thanksgiving 2012.  Mark was taking the picture so he wasn’t in it:(

I’m also realizing just how intimately God knows me and how much he loves me.  I mean, I already know this but sometimes don’t really think about it much.  One of my silly and useless goals in life is to completely fill up a passport.  Not because I want to see so many places (although I do) but mostly just because I want to complete the book.  Silly, I know.  Anyway, with living on support I started to give up that idea.

Just this week, though, when I went in to renew my visa here, God surprised me and made me laugh!  After standing in line for two hours I finally got the passports reset and walked out.  I double checked them as I was leaving and I noticed that mine looked different than the boys’.  I looked closer and it was because she stamped it twice!  She messed up the date on the first one and had to redo it.  I realize it’s a stupid mistake, but it made me laugh.  It was my passport that had the extra stamp!  That’s one less space that I have to fill up!  Silly, I know, but it made me smile.

This last year, the Lord has asked more of me than I ever thought I had to give.  The truth of the matter is that many times he asked, I didn’t have anything to give but he was faithful to meet my needs in the right time.  It was almost as if he knew I didn’t have it, but he asked it anyway and was faithful to lend it to me so I could give it back to him.

It’s been a humbling place to live, and I’ve failed many times.  But I’m so grateful that this relationship with God is a journey.  I love that he’s revealing to me that he knows me and he can creatively meet not only my needs, but my selfish, silly desires as well.  This is the God I know and love…one whose timing is so perfect that he had Mark laid off from work a year ago, and had our unemployment end exactly six months later on the very day that we left for Nicaragua, but still cares enough about me to make me smile over a passport stamp.

How has God made you smile lately?

About mjstearns

We are Mark, Jenni, Tate and Theo Stearns. We currently live in Beaverton, Oregon, but are planning to move to Nicaragua within the next six months. We'll be serving as missionaries to Verbo Church, a non denominational church with several Nicaraguan locations. Specifically we'll be working at Casa Bernabe, an orphanage run by the church, assisting in vocational training and transition programs for the older boys.
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