May 2016 Newsletter

Mountain Haven Newsletter- May 2016

MINISTRY AT A GLANCE
Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $7,100.00 + project total needs (Back Deck, Cabinets, Shower in Couples area, Re-do cabin floor and wall repair $9,200.00) : $16,300.00, Monthly Revenue Received: $15,170.00, Remaining needed from April= $8,630 .00, Remaining need $9,760.00

Current Ministry/ Ranch Projects 1.) We completed our prayer chapel, it is currently being called the “Robyn’s Nest” in honor of our first guest who is living there-short term. 2.) A friend came out and built a small garage last month and Kevin is utilizing the space and working on projects to supplement our income. 3.) The couples living area looks fabulous, all the finishing touches are in. There is one project left and that is to complete one of the bathroom showers. We are hoping to complete that, or hire the complete job out in the next few months. 4.) Keep an eye out for our women’s and men’s adventure weekends coming up later this summer.

Something Interesting or Unexpected that Happened Last Month: 1.) We had a friend move out for a short term respite and move into our “Prayer Chapel”. She has been an incredible addition to our patchwork family and we have loved doing life with her. 2.) Kevin got his cast off and is back to trying to utilize his hand for work. 3.) The girls finished homeschooling-grades 2 and grade 6. They both learned a lot and completed some fun projects.

Top Prayer Requests: 1.) The strength to listen with compassion and guide with grace the multiple lives we interact with. 2.) The direction and financial support we need to continue to move forward in the direction we feel led to move into.

Giving in to His Love

At the beginning of April, Chris and I were blessed to be able to go to Marble Retreat for eight days in Marble, Colorado. We both needed to process some things that we’ve gone through in ministry with people trained to deal with ‘Ministry Burnout’. We also needed a time to clear our minds, reconnect, and revision; plus a few dear friends of Mountain Haven covered the cost to send us there. That was a major blessing.

I told myself before we left that I wasn’t going to be someone who has to have a huge light bulb experience in order to not get my hopes up. In the past I’ve had experiences, out of hype, that just didn’t last and I feared that Marble Retreat might present the same opportunity. What I can say is that God really did show up in ways I didn’t expect, and I felt His love through the staff at Marble in a way I still am excited about.

For the last three or more years I have continued to apply pressure on myself to be better, to do better and to perform better; all of which are great goals. The problem is that I continued to shame myself into doing better; and in turn, I got harder and harder on myself for not living up to my high standard for myself. I truly believe that my high standard is based on God’s plan for me to be more like Him, but I was relying on myself to get it accomplished. We’ve experienced some painful trials, and some losses out here in the eight years we’ve been in Colorado, some of which ended in the loss of friendships. With this I began to push myself harder, expect more from myself  and trusting others less.

Sadly, I slowly started to see less and less of God’s love over the last few years, because I wouldn’t allow myself to see it in His handiwork-his people. The more I trusted in myself, the more I failed, and in turn was even more angry at myself- I was in a perpetual shame cycle. Unfortunately, my family continued to see a person that was becoming more harsh and less patient. I believed I could turn this around myself, but even though I prayed every day for God to change this in me, I couldn’t seem to love the ME that He created. I just put more and more pressure on myself to be perfect. No grace for my own shortcomings, just exacting perfection from myself to be a better man. This NEVER works for Jesus followers.

The greatest gift from God is that he sent His son so we can live eternally. The way He shows His love is through His people living for Him here on earth. I am so thankful for Mike and Kari at Marble Retreat. They listened to me and let me process what we’ve been going through. They listened, cried with us and didn’t push us to make better “plan”. What really changed my heart was feeling loved by God again for the first time in a long time. It’s not that He ever withheld any love from me, but I just wasn’t seeing it in His people. There were times when I cried and Mike cried tears of empathy and compassion with me. It was incredible to feel that kind of love. That kind of transformative love Jesus gives us and asks of us. The kind that lets Him transform us instead of telling us how bad we are.

I’ve since learned how to respond to my own failures with normal “necessary “responses and by setting reasonable goals and expectations for myself on a daily basis. God is continuing to remind me of His love for me in so many different ways, and I am learning to trust people again. I am much more aware of my harshness and it doesn’t come out towards my family the way it was because I truly accept that I am doing my “best” for God and that is all He really expects. I know that our home is feeling more settled and peaceful and unified.

My prayer for you is that you find people to real with and who will love you through the tough times. Encourage truth and vulnerability with friends that you trust, and don’t just try to get through your stuff alone. Show empathy and Christ-like compassion to others and don’t be afraid share your pain with others. That is, after all, why Chris and I started Mountain Haven to provide a place for people to be real and to process very tough issues while simultaneously experiencing a non judgmental love that calls forth hope. I am forever grateful that I gave into His love, and I hope and pray I continue to pour it back out to my family, and to His people.

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