Posts Tagged ‘love’

January 5th, 2014

Looking Back, Looking Forward

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Tidbits from 2013

This last year has been a whirlwind of good and bad, difficult and wondrous, but through it all we have seen God working through us and through the people he has brought into our lives. We are blessed beyond measure; it is good to remember that. Here are a few highlights from 2013.

Learning About Ourselves

We’ve both learned so much about ourselves this year. Dani has learned to choose joy, peace, and truth in the midst of her circumstances. She’s realized that God uses her deep emotions to speak to her and minister to others. Israel is discovering more and more about who he is and what’s important to him—relationships. He is a peacemaker who longs to see other excelling in all areas. After years of wondering, we finally know that he’s an INFP on the Myers-Briggs personality assessment. Dani was very excited about this little discovery!

LOTR-Personality-Chart4

Guess who Israel is, Frodo! Dani is an INFJ.

INFP Strengths

INFP Strengths

INFP Stressors

INFP Stressors

Relational Blessings

2013 was a year of relational intensity. We were privileged to invest in students in much deeper ways. It was exhausting, challenging and often heart-wrenching, but so very meaningful and special to us. We would love to share specifics with you, but these stories aren’t ours to tell. Let us assure you, though, God has been at work. We don’t know the end of any of these stories, but we know that God is still wooing and working, both in our lives and the lives of our students. We also spent some much needed low-key time with both of our families. We found these visits to be healing, encouraging and delightful. In our marriage, we’ve experienced deeper intimacy and greater joy. We love being married to each other!!


On Our Minds for 2014

Dani

Dani turned 30! This is eight-year-old Dani, not 30-year-old Dani.

30th Birthdays!

Dani turned 30 yesterday, January 4th. You can read her thoughts on this milestone here. Israel will turn 30 in July. We’re excited about what this new decade will bring!

The Future

We are praying about what the future holds for us. We have another school year at BFA and then need to leave for a year of home assignment. Please join us in praying for direction about the future. Should we relocate with TeachBeyond? Return to BFA? Pursue fertility treatments or adoption?

Jernigan Family Growth

Very soon, Israel will be an uncle, three times! Our first nephew was born in August, and we’re expecting a niece in March and a third baby in May. We plan to spend Christmas 2014 with the Jernigans; that’s about 20 people!

Blessings for You

This year, may you know the nearness of Christ. May healing and peace be in abundance whenever you need it. May you see the extravagant goodness of God and recognize his many blessings to you. May you remember the grace of Christ each day. 


Ponderings from Israel

I feel challenged to bring family closer, and make life more life-ier. (Yep, I can make that a word.) There is never enough time to learn, to belong, to wonder, to be together. Being with family isn’t always easy, and living life is hard. Despite the differences and challenges, I am drawn to bring people close to myself and my life. I want to live alongside people with who I am willing to give of my life. Jesus gave of his life, not for his life. An abundant life isn’t one of finding the right job, or of getting what I deserve. It’s not about learning something new, or making my wife happy, although those are both good things to strive towards. Right now, it’s about loving those around me like I want to be loved. I am not perfect, nor saying that I am good at this endeavor, but I want to risk it all to be able to be closer to my family and live life life-ier. So hopefully in 2014, I can give more of myself instead of for myself. There’s enough pain to go around, but peace, kindness, love, grace, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? These things are lacking, and are always in want. These things are what our lives are supposed to be about, what I want to give to those I love. I hope you are willing to give more of yourself too. Be life-ier! Be closer to those you love!

July 28th, 2012

We Have a Mission

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One of the things we like to do is share our ministry with groups. Sunday school classes, home groups, random people pulled off the street, we like them all. Actually, sharing with a small group is probably how we communicate most effectively, because there’s some structure to our time, but it’s also casual and personal. But that’s besides the point.

During one of these presentations, I realized that I’d verbalized our mission statement. I didn’t really know we had a mission statement. I mean, I probably could have pulled some words together to somehow express our love and care for TCKS, but now I know what our mission is. I’ve probably even said some variation of this in the past, perhaps even this exact phrase, but this time, it stuck. And the tiny lightbulb in my head went off.

Our mission is to help missionary kids know that Jesus loves them too.

From my conversations with MKs over the past two years, I would say that most MKs struggle with fear, loneliness, and feeling like God loves everyone else, but not them. These kids’ families have been called to far-away countries. Their parents have been called to share the love of Jesus with specific people groups. Their lives have been uprooted, possessions sold, friends left, familiar languages abandoned, all in the name of Jesus.

MKs spend their lives supporting their parents’ lives. They know how to perform well. They know how to act the part which they are required to play. They have to travel around America, visit countless churches, and talk to people they don’t know, in order to raise money to get back to the place where Jesus wants them.

Now, don’t get me wrong, for the most part, MKs love their lives. They grow to love the countries where they live. They learn to speak the language more fluently than their parents. They go to school, have friends, and enjoy the food of the countries where they serve. Most of them wouldn’t trade these experiences, but these aren’t things they chose; Jesus called, and their parents answered.

Many MKs feel like a burden to their parents. Often, these missionary families are under incredible stress. In addition to ministry concerns, support raising, and the difficulties of living in another country, missionaries are not always safe. Sometimes, they’re in danger of being kicked out of the country. Sometimes, their houses are bugged. Sometimes, their very lives are in danger. Missionary kids know this. They see the stress their parents feel. They feel their parents’ burdens. So they don’t add to the burden. MKs often keep their hurts, struggles and thoughts to themselves, because if they tell their parents, they think they’ll just make things worse. As a result, many things which should be spoken, which missionary parents wish would be spoken, stay in secret.

So the thought that God cares for the world, but not for them, grows, gains significance, and takes up residence in the hearts and minds of these teenagers. It seems that God doesn’t care about their lives. It seems that God sacrifices them for the sake of everyone else. It seems that God sends someone to the entire world, but has forgotten them.

But we have a mission.

We want to help missionary kids know that Jesus loves them too.

God has sent us. God has sent us to Black Forest Academy. God has sent us to Germany. God has sent us to missionary kids, to help them believe that, yes, Jesus loves you.

You are not forgotten. You are not alone. You are valuable and loved and cared for. Jesus delights in you, little soul that you are. He knows you. He works on your behalf. We have left our families, we have left our lives, we have left our possessions, so that you would know He cares.

And BFA students, if you’re reading this, I’m talking about you.

We have a mission, it’s to share the love of Jesus with missionary kids, who know of Jesus, but don’t always know that his great plan of salvation and love includes them. It does.

January 17th, 2012

Tuesday Night Musings

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About a year ago, I got pregnant for the second time. These days, I find myself thinking about kids a lot. The kids who are mine, but who I can’t hold. The kids I think I want. The kids of other people who I get to talk to every day, but can’t call my own.

I’m often confused, and sad, and overwhelmingly grateful for what God’s done and taught us and brought us through. I am often joyful and content. I don’t know what will happen, and I find myself struggling to learn to live fully in the now, without drifting into what might be, or numbing my heart to the desire, hope, and loss I feel.

I’ve had a lot of conversations lately about the value of pain, loss, and sadness. I don’t think God wants hurt and heartbreak for us; I do think he is gracious to us and redeems those things. So I find myself trying to explain why it is better to hurt than to feel nothing, to risk vulnerability than to protect yourself with loneliness, to love and lose than never love at all.

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December 18th, 2011

Overwhelmed with Gratitude

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Hello Friends, Family, People Who Stumbled onto Our Blog while Google Searching,

Today is Sunday, the third day of our Christmas Break. I’m already wondering what to do with my time. I’ve grown unaccustomed to having free time. We’ve had one, maybe two, free weekends this semester. I’ve come home exhausted and emotionally spent nearly every day. We’ve coached volleyball (not me—ha!), subbed at dorms, attended school trips, had meetings, filmed stuff, had many a conversation, spoken in dorms, spoken in chapel, taught sex ed, made meals, served cider, and much, much more. We’re very tired, and very in need of this break.

Yet despite our exhaustion, I can only think of how very blessed I am. I am so very blessed.

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July 9th, 2010

That They May Know Him Better

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Since we began this journey 12 months ago, I’ve run the gamut of emotions. I’ve recounted my emotional journey many times since August, so feel free look back if you’ve forgotten. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of documenting our lives (and especially my emotional life), but I haven’t done a very good job of sharing what’s been the driving force behind this drastic life-change, and what has been on my mind every day of these last 12 months.

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