Sunday, July 15, 2012

Is it too small a thing for you to be my servant...


The Servant of the Lord

49 Listen to me, you islands; 
    hear this, you distant nations:
Before I was born the Lord called me;
    from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name. 
He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, 
    in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me into a polished arrow 
    and concealed me in his quiver.
He said to me, “You are my servant, 
    Israel, in whom I will display my splendor. 
But I said, “I have labored in vain; 
    I have spent my strength for nothing at all.
Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, 
    and my reward is with my God.”
And now the Lord says—
    he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
    and gather Israel to himself,
for I am[a] honored in the eyes of the Lord
    and my God has been my strength 
he says:
It is too small a thing for you to be my servant 
    to restore the tribes of Jacob
    and bring back those of Israel I have kept. 
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,     that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
This is what the Lord says—
    the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel 
to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation,
    to the servant of rulers:
“Kings will see you and stand up,
    princes will see and bow down, 
because of the Lord, who is faithful, 
    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

I wanted to send an update to everyone since coming home... and have tried to write this for months... but have failed due to the struggle within myself. 

As I was reading this morning God reminded me of this passage. And the verse 6 really stood out to me. 

Because I can be a master of disguise and although we have been truly blessed to have our jobs back, be able to live with my family and save money... I have been throwing a huge self-pity party for myself. I always tell myself it was all worth moving to Italy and selling everything to then coming back in 3 months, if we touched one life, if we planted one seed for the Lord. However, believing those words have been a different story.
But sometime I get lost in the things, materials, financial stability that we have lost, and having to start over... and I think was it all in vain... 

And then God reminds me HOW INCREDIBLE BLESSED I AM.. I have a HUSBAND WHO LOVES ME, FAMILY WHO LOVES US, WORK TO GO TO, OUR HEALTH, I GOT TO SEE A BEAUTIFUL PART OF THE WORLD GOD CREATED, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD, and he opens my eyes to see people who have really lost everything, have cancer, have true pain, have lost loved ones, lost husbands or wives to addictions, lost jobs and their homes, who are lost souls seeking to fill themselves up with materials that will not last and people who will one day let them down. 

Lord, has called me by name he calls me his servant, he sharpens me to be his arrow, he hides me in his wings, nothing he calls us to is in vain and being a servant of Christ is worth every hardship and trial we may face. Because I am looking towards eternity and not just the here and now. 

I have no idea what God will call us to next but I know that I am tired of serving myself and my hearts desire is to serve the Lord. My prayer is that everyday my dependency on Him grows and my need for the Holy Spirit to fill me up becomes an unquenchable desire. 

I am continually learning that we are always serving something: either God or this world/ ourselves/ money. Only one leads to eternal life and you will not find it in serving this world, yourself or possessions. The gift of eternal life is only found thru Jesus Christ and serving Him. And nothing He calls us to is too small or is in vain. How quickly I forget to count the blessings. If we always look back we will never move forward. 

Thankful List: 

101: For the amazing relationship we have with both our parents!
102: For my parents opening their home to us to help us get back on our feet
103: For Chris Wooten giving me my job back and being back with my bodyshop family
104: For Steve Hawley giving Tony a job and for the support he has felt there. 
105: For time in Virginia spending time with family and getting to play with Joce, Devon, and Smith. 
106: For Reese turning 4. Thankful I get to see Sharon, Brent and the kids in 2 weeks.
107: For our church Radius for all their prayers, love and support
108: For the opportunity to live in Italy for 3 months and truly experience a chance of a life time. We miss you dearly Asolo and all our friends there. 
109: For God's piercing words of truth, for His grace, and His forgiveness. 
110: Thankful for kisses and hugs from my sweet husband and the coming of our 3yr anniversary=0).  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Our Last Days in Italy


GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME, ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD!!


This is us driving up to the Top of Monte Grappa. 


At the top it was snow covered and we were in a cloud.

Got to love men... and the boy's inside of them. Tony is getting ready to try to hit a sign with a snow ball!

Would you believe me if I told you at the base of this mountain it was 75 degrees.
Crazy!! 

So beautiful!! Oh how I miss it! 

I took this on our way down from monte grappa. It was so the Lord I was praying for my sister who was in Uganda at the time and then we turn a corner and their is AFRICA!! 

A bunch of Tony's co-workers met us at Epoca the last week to say goodbye.

Tony and Massimo. Massimo you are an amazing man and friend and we are so thankful that the Lord allowed our paths to cross. You are welcome in our home anytime!! =0) 

Erica and Massimo. Such a sweet and caring couple! 

This is in Verona on our way back to Milan to get on the plane. 


This is one of the main squares. I love people watching!

Juliet's window. This is the actual widow they used in the movie. Romeo and Juliet 

I had more fun just searching for it. It's crazy how many people were in this small alley.


This is the second largest Areana in Italy. Look at those too cuties.



They have a huge market of fresh foods, home made goods, and tons of other things going almost completely around the areana. See those dark clouds we barely made it back to the car when the bottom dropped out. 


I love the building the details... the history. 

This was us walking into Sirmone. A little town in Lake Gaurda.

I thank God everyday for giving me such a LOVING MAN. He makes me feel beautiful even on my roughest days. 

Mom and Dad Zanca stayed in downtown Sirmone.  This is the only bridge in or out. I can't imagine the chaos of trying to drive in... but its BEAUTIFUL!!

We got to go in the castle for free we were so excited!!

Every view was breath taking!!




What a beautiful country! Thank you Lord for allowing us to get a taste of it!! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We made it home!!

Isaiah 55: 8-13
 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, 
   neither are your ways my ways,” 
            declares the LORD. 
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, 
   so are my ways higher than your ways 
   and my thoughts than your thoughts. 
10 As the rain and the snow 
   come down from heaven, 
and do not return to it 
   without watering the earth 
and making it bud and flourish, 
   so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: 
   It will not return to me empty, 
but will accomplish what I desire 
   and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 
12 You will go out in joy 
   and be led forth in peace; 
the mountains and hills 
   will burst into song before you, 
and all the trees of the field 
   will clap their hands. 
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, 
   and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. 
This will be for the LORD’s renown, 
   for an everlasting sign, 
   that will endure forever.”


If you have time please read the whole chapter or Isaiah 55... so rich for my soul this morning!! 

Here are some pictures from  Tivoli and Florence: 
(We stopped at them on our way home from Rome)

The great Villa constructed by the Emperor Hadrian near Tivoli between A.D. 118 and the 130s is one of the most original monuments in the history of architecture and art. It consists of 250 acres and is decorated with over 30 buildings that were inspired from Hadrian’s travels to Egypt, Spain,  Greece, and other areas around the world. 

One of the Theaters in Villa Adriana (Hadrian's Villa) 



The Road leading into the Villa.








She has gotten so good at taking picutes!! 


I am pretty sure there were a thousand signs that say do NOT CLIMB ON THE RUINS!! but they are all in Italian. =0) 





He can make anything look good!! =0) 



This Villa was absolutely massive... and beautiful!







Our family!! 

Thank you Jesus for a Sunny Day!


FLORENCE


Tony told me I couldnt get the whole building in the shot cause we were so close... challenge accepted... oh wait and nailed  it!!

Statue of Neptune... I didnt realize he was naked until after I had asked Tony to take this picture... I wish I would have chosen a slightly different angle. 

Statue of : Cellini's Perseus


On the  Ponte Vecchio in Florence.


The more I get to know this man in the struggles of life, the triumphs, the stresses, the relaxing times, the on your knees in prayer times, the in Florence traffic times, the "I am so sore from running 13 miles when I haven't run in 4 months" times, the snuggle times.... I grow more and more and more in love with him! 


The Ponte Vecchio is right behind me...
The Ponte Vecchio ("Old Bridge) is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers.


This is a really cool restaurant in downtown Florence. 



The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (English: Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower) is the cathedral church of Florence, Italy. The Duomo, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marblepanels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th century Gothic Revival fa├žade by Emilio De Fabris.


The statues that you see at the top of the church is Jesus in the middle and then the 12 disciples (6 on each side)... breath taking. 
Thankful list: 
101. Safe trip home 
102. For my dad who came to the airport 3 hours early because he didnt want to be late and miss us ... I love you so much Dad! 
103. That it hurt to leave Italy because in 3 months we had actually started to make some really good friendships. 
104. That my sister got home safely from her mission's trip to Uganda...cant wait to hear all about it. 
105. That we lived in Italy for 3 months and grew so much!
106. That our dog is outside of the crate and is happy to see her uncle Toby (my parents dog). 
107. For getting to hangout with Barbara before we left... such an amazing and beautiful woman. So thankful to have met you!!
108. For getting to go on a walk with Heather and just pray together before we left. Such an amazing woman of God looking forward to keeping up with you. 
109. For Massimo and Erica... for their friendship, kindness and love towards us while when were in Italy... you are always welcome in our home.
110. For coffee with Alessandro.
111. For new beginnings
112. For so many answered prayers. 
113. For God's ways that are so much higher than our own. 
114. For letting go of bitterness with the Italian government and seeing God had a reason and a plan for it all. 
115. For Jocelyn who turned 6 yesterday... can't wait to see you! 
116. For toilets that you do not have to slide forward or back depending on the if you are going 1 or 2. 
117. For MOE'S!!! 
118. For a Chris already giving me hours... I will see you on Thursday Bodyshop peeps! 
119. For laughter watching my husband doped up on Dramamine getting lost on the plane. 
120. For my husband who teaches me more about genuine faith and love everyday. 
121. For a Savior who loves me for who I am and call's me to be His daughter.