Thank you to all of our faithful supporters and encouragers through the years. We appreciate you so much and are excited to discover what direction Mountain Haven will be heading as we seek answers, rest, and direction for the years to come. We continue to prayerfully consider what our future looks like and how ministry will evolve and take a different shape and direction for us. This season is turning out to be longer than we expected but we are going to be patient and stop putting expectations on it, and ourselves. Thanks for being patient with us, supporting us through years, praying for us and always being kind to us.
MINISTRY AT A GLANCE
Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $2700.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $1,300.00 Remaining Need: $1,400.00
Something Interesting or Unexpected that Happened:1.) Kaisha got another lead role in her play at Harbor City, she continues to amaze with her talents.
2.) Lilliana went snow tubing for the first time with her class and she had such a terrific time.
3.) We celebrated Brandon’s 30th birthday a few weeks early (it’s not until mid March) and had a wonderful time together with Brandon and Emily and our girls. We are so grateful to be near them
4.) We had the pleasure of being surprised by Friends for a short visit in Duluth, we hadn’t seen them for years and it was a real blessing as they listened to us with such compassion, and loved on us.
Top Prayer Requests: For Kevin. We will be having his surgery on March 26 but there’s lots of pre-operative work and lots of time in the hospital afterwards. We have a great team of about five different people coming together to help us care for our children during this 14 day journey. Pray for a successful surgery, and pray that if they have to go in three days later and do a second surgery that that goes well. Pray for all the caregivers caring for our children, pray for our children, and pray for us as we undertake this massive event. We have been blown away by the financial support and the prayers of all those that care for our family. It has been a long journey and we are hoping to gain some perspective and direction through this recovery.
Mountain Haven Newsletter – March 2020
“The Intelligence of Love”
“You see, I want a lot.
Maybe I want it all:
the darkness of each endless fall,
the shimmering light of each ascent.
So many are alive who don’t seem to care.
Casual, easy, they move in the world
as though untouched.
But you take pleasure in the faces
of those who know they thirst.
You cherish those
who grip you for survival.
You are not dead yet, it’s not too late
to open your depths by plunging into them
and drink in the life
that reveals itself quietly there.”
The command to love is daunting to say the least. The mandate to love God with your heart, your soul, and your mind; and to love others AS you love yourself- is a very nuanced and evocative challenge. I have heard so many people tout these words with ease and simplicity, preaching a simplistic message of loving others, and I have been adequately humbled by how difficult that is.
I find it is harder to love, the more difficult the circumstances are, the higher the stress is, the tighter the finances are, and the more depressed the heart is. Loving this way feels fraudulent at times, and ineffective other times. Finding my footing with God, others and myself is complex and tenuous. It’s because of this, I believe love must be intelligent. It must be intelligent in its intention, intelligent in it’s insight and intelligent in its delivery.
Since I’ve been working in the medical field I’ve been learning a lot more about medical language. When the word intention is used in medicine it is referring to the healing process of a wound. Basically it is a process or manner of healing of incised wounds. I think that this is an incredible way to view love. Because it is only with those that we love that we often inflict a wound. So it would make sense that Love would be intentional, and how we go about healing the wound of those we love should involve intentionality. Often times because of our circumstances, our pain, our ignorance, and even our personality and ingrained habits we inflict pain and hurt on those we love. The intelligence of love mandates that we be intentional in addressing the wounds of those we have hurt. We can apologize, name the hurt, give a gift, a card, a hug, a listening ear, a humble heart of listening, surprise them with some time away. Intentionality is often overlooked in loving relationships, and habit and apathy take its place. Or shame causes us to disavow making amends with those we have hurt. It is too much work or we predict how they will act, or we just give into self pity. Why not engage the intelligence of love by intentionally loving those who are wounded, even by our own hand?
Insight is the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing. To love with insight is to be willing to study your partner (and others) and understand them in new, fresh ways and to intuit the ways they may need your love. Maybe take time to ask old questions but in a new way, engage with them on a new level by trying to surprise them with small things like gifts, notes, calls or physical touch. Try to step out of your comfort zone in creative ways that challenge you to work harder to see your partners hurts, needs, and even dreams. Try to make yourself available to attend to them in imaginative ways. Why continue to allow your love pattern to be predictable and routine?
In loving intelligently, you will be able to deliver meaningful and transformative love to your lover. You won’t be stuck in your own pain, or triggered by your own losses and childhood traumas, or even stuck being committed to your dogmatic and unassailing approaches. Your delivery of love will be meant to serve with compassion, and to see beyond your circumstances to something deeper. No longer casual, or simplistic but determined to delve deeper into the power of love. More willing to embrace the suffering and pain of the other because you have learned to love God and the other as you love yourself. Why not ask others how they deliver love to others? Find new ways to deliver your message of love?
This is the key I believe, to intelligent love. One part is intentionally loving oneself with insight that is informed by God’s love. Another part is allowing yourself to truly examine the way you love others as evidenced by your actions toward them. This will help you gauge if your love is superficial or eternal. Our love of God is directly intertwined with our love, towards and, of people; as well as our love, towards and, of ourselves. We too often compartmentalize how we feel about ourselves from how we feel about others, or even God. But I do not believe we can do this any longer, love received from God MUST be internalized, or all we will give others is vapid, and devoid of the power to bring change. And love from God cannot be truly received until we stand within our own pain, suffering and despair and know, and truly believe, we are lovable. We will offer mere lip service to others in pain or suffering because we have not been able to see our true depravity and darkness, and love who we are despite it. Love cannot be transferred to others unless it is internalized into oneself.
This is the nature of intelligent love, it is always seeking ways to grow. My friends, I can only hope I can intelligently love my husband, children, friends, family and the world. I believe powerful change can flow from our actions towards wholeness. I challenge you to seek to love God, others and yourself more intelligently.