It's only fitting that for the first post of the new year that I share with you something that is happening in my life for 2013.  It all started with a book.  A book that kept me up at night.  A book that had my heart racing and pounding in my chest knowing that the timing and the words were God speaking directly to me.  

The book is "anything. the prayer that unlocked my God and my Soul" by Jennie Allen.  After reading her book, I am completely taken by Jennie and her writing.  I could go on and on about amazing things God is doing through her and her family and the "small world" of things but this blog is about me.  I will write another about my obsession with all things Jennie :-) I urge you to go to her website and read more about this book Jennie Allen and to read her blog.  She is inspiration for sure.

The timing of reading this book and the timing of the messages at our church I know were the hand of God. These feelings that were already stirring in me when I ordered this book on a whim came straight from him.  This fall Justin and I started really thinking about moving into a larger home.  We were spending a lot of time researching good schools and neighborhoods.  We were planning a huge party for the boys.  We were already thinking about Christmas and honestly in a huge perioud of "me. me. me" thinking.  I have felt and prayed for a long time that I really want God to use this time in my life to serve Him.  To glorify Him.  This time that I don't have to go to work each day.  I have prayed for opportunities to be used as a blessing to others to find a way to use this time at home not to be focused on "me" but Him.  

I started reading Jennie's book and I got to a part that stopped me right where I was. I could so closely identify with this. 

"As real life and responsibilities in, I felt God being pressed out.  Religion, church, and Bible study were all in place - but truly surrendered lives, the kind God could use anywhere and in any way he chose, had quickly turned into planned and calculated lives that focused on things like saving for a Suburban or a minivan."

She goes on a walk with a friend shortly after this and her friend is talking to her about "wanting more".  "She believed her heart had become entitled".   Is our life about cute houses, safe schools, and good friends?  Is this how we value our lives? 

I'm going to tell you honestly.  God did some serious work on my heart while reading this book.  I could really only read a chapter and then have to just pray and think about it before moving on.  I saw so much of this "entitlement" in our lives.  What we think about.  What we "google".  What we spend our time doing.  Is it the work of God? Or is it things? Planning the next thing, buying the next thing, making the next move.  

I began to pray earnestly "Anything" as I moved through the book. I felt God sweeping my feet underneath me and showing how in so many ways I tend to live for this world and not for His.  Running the race and spinning in the wheel to get ahead in a "wordly" view. Many thoughts came to me as I prayed this (and finally included Justin :-) that we could consider adoption. International or domestic.  (Still not totally off the table I don't think).  How could God really use me in 2013 to further his kingdom.

Then we started our end of the year missions series at church.  Local missions. Global missions. Organizations like Love146 that I have blogged about before.  After one of them I sat in my seat with tears in my eyes and looked at Justin and said "my anything starts here.  I am going".  He said "where are you going?" And I said "Anywere.  Wherever God wants to use me."

Just my luck (or divine intervention) there was a global missions meeting the next Sunday.  We went to church, came home and fed the boys.  I prayed before I left and looked at Justin and said "I'm terrified!"   I went to the meeting with about 30 or so people and they had the leaders there representing each mission trip for 2013.  The host of the meeting, the missions assistant for our trip stood up and said "I knew which was my trip by the way my heart beat so fast when I thought about it.  Listen to the speakers. Pray about it.  God will show you if this is for you and give you the answers."

And he did.  And I am going!  God chose to place me on the Living Water International well digging trip to Honduras in July.  Living Water International exists to demonstrate the love of God by helping communities acquire desperately needed clean water, and to experience "living water"—the gospel of Jesus Christ—which alone satisfies the deepest thirst.

Why Water?

"For Living Water it's all about Jesus. It's about demonstrating God's love, announcing his kingdom, seeing Jesus in the least of our brothers and sisters, offering a cup of water in Jesus' name and proclaiming his gospel, the living water.
Helping communities create sustainable water, sanitation, hygiene, and Christian witness programs in partnership with local churches is just the best way we've found to do that. Why? Because the water crisis affects poverty, women, health and education—and for us it's a spiritual issue.

783 million people lack access to an improved source of drinking water—that's 1 in 9 of us. In the places we work, it's more like 1 in 2 . Great progress is being made globally, but whole people groups are being overlooked—it's the poorest people with the least political power that continue to suffer, and these are the people we are called to serve.

Water & Poverty. Where water is inaccessible, poverty is pervasive. Productivity is lost to illness and time is spent walking for water. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 40 billion hours are spent each year just hauling water. Most who lack water live on less than a dollar a day, and there's no way out without water.

Water & Women. Many women spend 20 hours per week collecting water, some walking 7 miles a day, often for contaminated water. Too often the walk is not safe for them physically. It is women and the children they raise who suffer most without water, and who benefit most from access to it.

Water & Health Water-related diseases cause 2.2 million deaths a year; every day, diarrhea takes the lives of 2,000 children in Africa—more than any other single cause of death. Safe water, a toilet, and clean hands could prevent 90% of these deaths.

Water & Education Globally, water-related diseases steal 443 million school days a year. Roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm stunt growth, cause debilitating anemia, and follow kids into the classroom, shrinking cognitive potential. Illness causes absenteeism and early drop-out. Simple solutions can keep kids in school.

Water & the Gospel. There's hope. In the past 20 years 2 billion people have gained access to safe drinking water—but that's not the best story we have to tell. For us water is a picture of living water—the good news that God wants to transform people, communities, and the whole world through the person of Jesus Christ"

8 days in Honduras. 8 DAYS.  Do you know that since my children were born in 2009 I have never spent more than one night away from them.  Really.  We have never been away together for more than one night.  I have never been away by myself for more than one night.  Even now thinking about it my heart races.  My eyes get watery.   But this is what surrender looks like in my life right now.  

This is from her book. She quotes Oswald Chambers.  

"The call of God is not a reflection of my nature; my personal and temperament are of no consideration.  As long as I dwell on my own qualities and traits and think about what I am suited for, I will never hear the call of God.... The majority of us cannot hear anything but ourselves.  And we cannot hear anything God says.  But to brought to the place where we can hear the call of God is to be profoundly changed."

I feel called to Honduras for this trip.  I want to "hear something more than myself". And guess what? After praying and deciding I called my mom and dad and told them the news.  My dad called the next day and said "I'm going to."  What a blessing to serve with my dad in Honduras.  I will be part of a hygiene team and he will actually be on the team drilling the well for our village.

As I start this new year, I am excited.  I am terrified.  I am emotional about leaving the boys.  I have thought about backing out a thousand times but fortunately I have a husband who is totally supportive of my "mission".  I don't know what awaits me in Honduras but I know God has big things in store for me. 

So I need your help.  Will you pray for me as I prepare.  Pray for our team.  Pray for my family.  Pray that I raise the money for the trip?  I am responsible for raising $1800 for the total cost of the trip to Honduras.  Will you prayerfully considering being a sponsor?   Will you enable me to be the hands and feet of Christ? Any donation would be so helpful as I have never done this kind of fundraising before!  I have until April 15th to raise the money.  There are several ways that you can donate.   You may receive a letter in the mail from me too :-)  

There are 2 online ways.  The first way is through Faithbridge site.  The links is here and also on the side of the blog. 

Faithbridge Global Missions
Living Water International.  
Honduras Trip July 13-20.

This does require you to create an account with our church.  It only takes a few minutes but I promise your info is secure. Just select my name from the drop down once you are logged in.  Thank you!

The other way is through my Paypal.  Just click the link here or on the side and donate. 

This is a new Paypal account solely for the purpose of this trip.

The other way is to mail a check to Faithbridge ear marked for my trip.   Make checks payable to Living Water International.  In the memo line put Luann Riley Honduras.

Faithbridge United Methodist Church
Attn: Bridging
18000 Stuebner Airline Road
Spring, TX 77379

If you donate directly to the church through the website or through mailing a check, you will receive a tax deductible donation form.

I know that my "anything" doesn't stop after my trip to Honduras. I believe its just the first step in my "anything".  I am grateful for this opportunity and looking forward to serving him in 2013!

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 
Mark 28:19-20

The Riley's