Bailey Family May 2016

Bailey Family May 2016
Bailey Family May 2016 - Big Woods

Monday, November 4, 2013

Geckos & lizards and alligators, oh my!

So being in Louisiana is like entering a new culture with its own unique language and ways of doing things. There is LOTS of humidity (though that has really gotten better as it cools off) and LOTS, no TONS of mosquitoes. There are also little lizard friends that crawl into the house and geckos too. Catherine, of course, loves it when she can catch a new friend.

Another animal you may see here is an alligator. When we arrived at Big Woods it was September (alligator hunting season). We toured an alligator farm where they raise and release alligators as well as process those that have been hunted for producing food and items made from their skin. The smell was VERY strong and had a fishy smell. Grace wouldn't stop plugging her nose. We also got to see an alligator that was caught near our property (poor alligator is in the truck bed). I am happy to say that so far I have not seen a live alligator (I am happy to keep it that way)!

Louisiana is a great place to train for missions. It is entering into a new "culture" and being around weather, animals, and food you are not used to. We are learning to appreciate and be thankful for everything that we have (by giving lots away) and eating what is set before us (Luke 10:8). Which for our family (especially me) was very hard to do at first. I was used to having all the control of what my family was eating. We were trying to be healthy and make good choices. But even this God has asked me to surrender. It really has been a blessing to us. I realized that on one side of it I could be eating everything I want (healthy or not) because I want to (for pleasures sake). I didn't want to be addicted to food and feel like I couldn't say no to something (cake, chocolate, etc.). In being healthy and making better food choices I was trying to avoid this temptation for myself and my family. But on the opposite side I was letting food control me because I was so picky about what I could and couldn't eat. It made it very difficult to go to pot lucks or family gatherings because we couldn't eat what others prepared.  Food can become an idol when it takes over my time, energy and thoughts. At first it was a sacrifice to eat the food set before us at Intake and surrender my control and fear (of how the food might affect me or my family) to God. It is very good practice for missions because when we are invited to events or into peoples homes we would never want to turn down their food. We have heard story after story about missionaries going into small villages where they take the best of what they have and give it to you. There may be only 1 chicken or 3 cans of tuna left in the whole village and they will prepare it and serve it to you. It is a very humbling experience and you would never want to turn down that gift. It would be an insult to the people and would be very ungrateful. If I truly believe that God has called our family to be full-time missionaries (which I do) than I can trust that God will provide everything that my family needs, including our food and clothes.

24“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?31Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Matthew 6:24-34

It is AMAZING how much God has provided for us since our yes to Him. 
  • The girls & I have received bags of clothing to go through (to find warm items for our Mexico trip in November)
  • I received milk and kefir grains that grow & multiply amazingly down here, providing our family with lots of healthy probiotics 
  • When we arrived at Big Woods in September we found out our entire Intake fees had been raised in just 4 weeks (the time we spent selling/giving away/packing our things)
  • He has given our family the time together we had been praying for
  • He has given us a way to minister together as a family, also something we had been praying for
  • We have been able to experience what living in community is like, including sharing our goods with each other
  • Felicity was given a beautiful birthday dress to wear and I was able to make a birthday cake from the things we had around the house
  • See the post I made about my birthday for a list of more blessings on our family 
I have realized how much we didn't need all the things we had and that God has provided us with everything we need. We have the MOST important thing and that is the knowledge of God's love and the hope of our salvation. If I had the nicest house, car, clothes, job, lots of money, etc. it wouldn't get me to heaven and it would not fulfill my deepest desire to know God. In giving away the material things we had become attached to we have found so much freedom, peace and joy for how much God has blessed our family. Our things had only provided temporary happiness, but our faith provides everlasting joy!

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