The beauty that surrounds us in our own town, and space goes unnoticed until someone comes for a visit. At least, that’s how I feel when friends point out the rolling hills in Tennessee or the wide open spaces out in the country. It’s as if you see what you pass everyday through a new lens. These past few days, I’ve been the visitor in Virginia beach & Norfolk, VA enjoying the little things that locals may pass by. I went for a walk around the quaint little area in Norfolk close to where I was staying. Above are the photos of all the little gems I found.
Loving this outreach to British Columbia. To read more behind the photos please visit: doughertyadventures.tumblr.com
We started off this week with intercession for Haiti, it made such an impact–so powerful, just interceding for the people of Haiti. Speaking life and joy over the country. It was also touched my heart because a few of my close friends from home (Lauren Ellis, Nikki Pendergrass, and Leslie Watson) just returned from doing a missions trip there!
This week’s theme was discipleship, and what it truly means. It’s sort of one of those topics that we hear about all the time, but this week I’ve grasped a better heart-understanding.
“..If anyone wants to come with me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it.” Matthew 22:34-40
On Tuesday we had the wonderful Simon Turner as a guest speaker at Seek My Face [every Tuesday night we have a time where we soak and seek more intimacy with the Father]. He led us through the Lords Prayer verse by verse, showing us how to customize it to our lives and praying to the Father.
That night the Lord was downloading a lot of vision for the future. He was highlighting so many instances since I’ve been here in Iceland that I had shrugged off as coincidence or maybe not even noticed at all–and he opened my eyes just to see the obvious. He has been knitting my life together so intricately and he was just giving me a glimpse of the things he has in store for me on the road ahead.
I was so excited yet a little frustrated. We all have these ideas of how are life may play out…dreams we have for the future and the people we plan to spend it with. So there I was being bittersweet that the glimpse God was giving me wasn’t what I had in mind. Basically doubting that God had the best in mind for me. I spent some quiet time with the Lord that night and he just continued to highlight the lack of trust I had in him. Which all stems from my lack of fully comprehending the Father Heart of God—fear of abandonment and all that good stuff.
The next morning I was still struggling with the things in my heart I was holding back from God and lo and behold the class that day was all about giving your whole heart to the Lord not just part of it. We were made to write down all the things we felt the Lord was pointing out that we were holding back from him and we laid them at the cross. Gotta love it.
I then proceeded to listen to Alyn & A.J. Jones message from emanate on having a heart of stone –“A heart of stone is a protection mechanism to keep you from pain. But it also keeps God’s love out too.” I was challenged so much in realizing areas of my heart that I have closed off…numbed as a defense mechanism.
The Lords just been showing me so much this week! He’s giving me vision for the future and what he has called me to. He’s showing me areas where I need improvement. He’s breaking me over the characteristics of Christ that I don’t display on a daily basis–or maybe even never. He’s healing broken areas in my heart that I have accepted–thinking they may never be healed. He’s showing me what it means to live in community and what it means to have compassion for those around me.
That’s the big one. Not only just trust in him, I find that easy compared to trusting his children around me. He’s teaching me to open my heart and share with those around me…not being ruled my fear that they might hurt me or abuse my trust; but realizing that that could in fact happen and taking the risk anyways because he has designed us to live in community–to be open. By shutting down my heart and not letting others in I’m actually shutting out the love of the Father as well.
I ended the week with a wonderful weekend! One of the DTS staff, Tyler, has a favorite coffee mug that he drinks out of every morning. We took this cup for an adventure and took photos with it all over town and with random people!
Then on Sunday I took a trip with some friends to a black-sand beach…and the end point of the great Þjórsárhraun. The greatest lava flow on Earth since the end of the last Ice Age!
Looking forward to what this week holds.
This week has been full of exciting things….
During the first week I was here I was able to attend a Bethel healing conference being held here in Iceland. While I was receiving prayer I received a word that I was going to mother many of God’s children. I wrote it in my journal and tucked it away. Within the past week I have had a desire to have kids of my own, or just to be around kids. I didn’t really understand why this desire was arising when it was obviously not the time or the season for me to have kids. Haha.
On Sunday Kathrin and I were walking to church and talking about our desires for after DTS and my mother heart started pounding. We got to church and it was baby-dedication Sunday! After all the baby dedications the message was out of Galatians 4, when Paul is quoting Isaiah 54:
“Rejoice, O barren woman
who does not give birth.
Break forth and shout,
you who are not in labor,
for the children of the desolate are many,
more numerous than those
of the woman who has a husband.”
It was then I was awakened to the fact that I do not need a Husband to have a mother heart for Gods children.
On Wednesday night the staff showed us a video which told us our outreach was Kenya!
At first I thought they were joking because we have been bugging them to tell us where we are going for outreach since we got here. My heart was beating so fast when they went on to share with us that we will be traveling all over Kenya working in orphanages and wherever needed our help. They are still working out all the details though. I felt a peace but I was initially in shock–ha, I know God will continue to prepare my heart but at first I didn’t think my heart could handle it!
On Thursday we had Paul, who is from Kenya and attends the local church here, give his testimony. It was heartbreaking the things he saw but such a testimony as to what God has brought him through! He now lives here in Iceland with his wife and they also run an organization in Kenya (I forgot the name) that we might be working with when we go!
Also this week was teaching on the Holy Spirit and intimacy with God, taught by Ronald Botha. It was good to learn about the personality of the Holy Spirit and his role throughout the new and old testament. As well as the intimacy that God desires to have with us. It was definitely a great lecture week.
I ended the week with a beautiful day out of the city! (Finally!):
What a wonderful day and week.