My daughter…

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23 years ago….  enter…. Kassandra Nicole Saul.

WOW – I never could have imagine how she would touch my heart, touch my life, touch my eternity.

She was my little girl after two “all-boy” boys.  It was now time for lace and frills, bows and flowers, dresses and dolls.  I think back to the day she was born and I smile and take a very deep breath.  She was perfect in every way.  And she instantly wrapped the hearts of me AND the boys in the house.  Her daddy and her two big brothers adored her.

Growing up she would encourage the craziness of her brothers by simply laughing at them.  To this day she has this gut based laughter that was born and developed through years of laughing at them – and most times – they were just NOT that funny.  Today she continues to laugh at them…  at their jokes… at their antics…  at their craziness  and NO ONE can make her laugh like her big brothers.

She is the princess and everyone knows it and everyone is really totally okay with it.  She can rally those boys for whatever she wants and still knows how to work them both.

Her father – another story.  He simply melts in her hand, in her smile, in her love and in her heart.

All this – you would think she would have been a brat.  Not so. She was a sweet and loving child that grew into a little girl that was a joy to be around… into a teenager that was actually fun and happy and joyful.  As she got older and started high school, she solidified her relationship with Christ and that’s when the beauty and graciousness, the loveliness and kindness, the joy and laughter really blossomed and has made this little precious baby girl into an amazing, beautiful and love filled woman of God.

I am urged on by this girl…  urged on by her love for Jesus, her love for His Word, her love for friends, her love for her family.  I am spurred on to good works as I watch her serve with all her heart and as I see the desire of her’s for Christ.  I see her take everything to God, in prayer and supplication.  I see her acknowledge Him and trust Him in all she does, in all she needs, in all she desires.  I see her apply His truths in her life and I watch as God’s faithfulness illuminates through her.  Truly – this “child” amazes me.

I watch her with her added sisters, with her niece and nephews and how she loves her family  I watch her with her grandparents.  I watch her with her church family.  I watch her with her friends and as I watch her — in her sincerity, honesty, genuineness and pure love — I think — I want to be like Kasi when I grow up!

I have now seen this little girl God gave to me, this sweet child I raised in Him, this young lady I intercede for…  become this woman I am both inspired and encouraged by…  my very best girlfriend in the world…  MY DAUGHTER.

The Change of Seasons….

God’s new season for our lives….
Of course I want to write about my kids, my grandkids, weddings and a new daughter, and how Kasi is now “an only child” but I will get to the motivation of this blog….  many of you may know that God has been priming our hearts the last few years with a love for His people in Africa.  At first He directed Randy’s heart to a village in Kisii, Kenya (a long story – written by the hand of GOD) and shortly after He directed my heart to Swaziland in southern Africa.
I was the first to visit the continent as I traveled with my daughter Kasi and Lynda Hetrick in September of 2009 to see what God was calling for that country.  WOW were we blessed by the trip, by the people and by the opportunity to serve the LORD.  A few months later, Jan of 2010, Randy went solo to Kenya to spend time with a couple of young pastors who were hungry for discipleship.  His relationship with them began to grow as they continued weekly contact as Randy would encourage them in their faith and ministry.
In September of 2010, along with Lynda, we led a team of 22 people to Swaziland and once again saw God move as we came alongside some of the missionaries there and went further into the country, serving where God led.  For me, one of the biggest blessings of the trip was watching the team, mostly of young people I had watched grow up, serving God and seeing HIS Hand.  The excitement and amazement of the power of God was filling to me as I watch God build their faith before my eyes.
Four months after our return, I followed my husband with a team of 12 very special friends to Kenya.  I knew that God was calling me to turn my focus to follow and support Randy and I was excited to travel with this particular team of people who had touched my life so very much through many years.
In Kenya – God spoke directly to me.  I watched my husband raised to a level I had never witnessed in the 30 years of our marriage.  Randy has been an amazing and wonderful husband and a godly and loving father.  He has gently led our family and the fruit of that is visible and abundant… but in Kenya, I saw my husband with a boldness, with a wisdom, with a direction, with a deep love and grace that could only have been through the Spirit of the Living God.  I knew then that God was stirring and I found myself taking very very deep breaths.  I would be dishonest if I didn’t confess some anxiousness about just what God is planning, but I have walked with Him long enough to KNOW that HIS PLAN is the ONLY place I want to be.  His faithfulness has been proven over and over in my life.  He has blessed us beyond measure and we can do nothing but TRUST Him!  Our desire is to be obedient.
I don’t want to get ahead of God – ESPECIALLY in this – but we are open – I am open – to whatever He desires.  We have been praying regularly and feeling a call to further encourage the people of Kisii and to urge them in their faith.  They are very susceptible to the false teaching that is abundant there.  They desire TRUTH but have been pulled into some deception in the past.  Randy has set them up with some discipleship that they travel several hours to each week for the past 2 years. We’ve sent them lots of material to get them into the WORD.  We have also been a part of an orphanage that we built structures and provided Bibles, Fabric and animals to in our last visit through the efforts of our Church.

Randy feels a strong calling to minister, disciple and encourage in a deeper and more direct way.  What that means I am not sure exactly, but taking one step at a time – we are trusting God.  We began praying for God to provide for a return trip for a little more extended time if that was what HE was leading.  We have felt strongly that it was but the means was not there.  This weekend, God provided specifically for the airline ticket for Randy to go.  While there is still a need for the supplies of the trip, we feel absolutely confident that God will provide and we are booking the flight.  The discussion had been that I would join him for a couple weeks during the 2 months he will be there, again if God provided.  But we are taking just one step at a time.

I wanted to share this with you, asking that you would be in prayer for us.  Pray for God to fill us with HIMSELF and make clear HIS desire.  Pray that we (and in “we” — I mostly mean “me”) would be quick to trust and obey.  Pray that God would provide what is needed.  Pray for Randy, pray for wisdom, pray for discernment, pray for a filling of HIS SPIRIT to do the work He has called.  

Well – – THERE you have it – – the change of seasons….