From Debbie Wilhite
I’m still amazed at how the Lord prepares us for the future that only He knows. When I look back on how we thought we’d have to travel with just a van, how we had “downsized” to doing this, and then how God brought along the new van and camper 6 days before we had to leave for full-time travel, I chuckle. (One of the phrases for simplify is “to reduce to bare bones,” and that’s about what we did!) We would have been overwhelmed at the mere thought of how and what to pack if it hadn’t been for that initial travel plan. All the time we were wondering how in the world we could do this, God was preparing us. What looked too hard, yea, impossible, was God’s way of molding us to His will. Those difficult days of simplifying were the best thing for us at the time.
The night before my 51st birthday Jeremiah suggested that instead of “rounding DOWN” to 0, we could simplify things by “rounding UP” to 100!! That’s NOT exactly my idea of simplifying. I would like to take this opportunity, though, to thank the many family and friends who sent cards and emails to celebrate, on Easter Sunday, another year of my life. I’m finding it a bit overwhelming to try to reply to everyone while we’re traveling. Now THAT gets a bit complicated!
This month we were in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minn-eh-SO-tah (can you tell I’m on home turf again?!). The Lord gave us opportunity to minister as well as be ministered unto through messages preached in regular services and a well-organized missions conference. Two of our supporting churches presently have new pastors. Paul and Debbie Brown, in Green Bay, took the place of Morris (and Gwen) Bender who conducted our wedding nearly 29 years ago. Paul’s sister, Denise, is the new pastor’s wife at the next church we visited in “Yooper” territory. We enjoyed meeting both these couples.
Being in a missions conference, of course, we were challenged regarding the Great Commission. Jerry spearheaded the week with a message on Having a Heart for Missions. With so much to “eat” I knew I needed to simplify what I was being fed into bite-sized pieces I could remember. Things like “Get in step with God.” “Two mountaintop messages: He’s in control, and He’s always with me.” Jonah’s lesson on “I owe God my life.” “Shine that light brightly!” The Lord had previously encouraged us with a message on “Discouragement” by Sam Davison.
We also had a bit of a “working vacation” when we stayed at a camp. The little ones took one look in their cabin, oohing, “WOW! Look at the BIG room!” I guess they saw it as a mansion in size compared to our beloved trailer. 😉 We all benefited from regular beds; room to roam, do schooling, practice instruments; and the opportunity to speak and sing in an unscheduled church. Reunions with several friends from college days have prompted many memories, laughs, and gratitude for others still faithful in service.
In Minnesota we met with my dear mom’s brother, his wife, and their daughter. That was simply precious! We’ve also had time for a Ladies’ Luncheon (I gave a 5-minute testimony, can you believe it? Me? Talk only 5 minutes?!); a Ladies’ monthly Fellowship (where they celebrated National Frog Month! Fun and with a spiritual message…); taught an inner-city-teen-girls’ class…to name a few “extras.”
Really, life can seem complex at times. But when I simplify (purposes, activities, priorities, duties, etc), my perspective becomes more clear. “Walk with God” … “Trust Him” … “Do the next thing” … “Just do right” … “Take the next step” … “Have a heart for God.” Simple? Not always simple to do. But always best! Simply Rejoicing in the Lord,