Now all of us, with our faces unveiled, reflect the glory of the Lord as if we are mirrors; and so we are being transformed, metamorphosed, into His same image from one radiance of glory to another, just as the Spirit of the Lord accomplishes it.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (Voice)
When I was a baby Christian, in the early 80's in Southern California, I first learned about "tracks," Christian cards, and the power of the Word of God. This encouragement in Christ was new to me, and I was hooked.
DaySpring products are still a part of my life today!
A few years ago, immersed in a thriving Missionary Care ministry at our church, a new relationship was formed with DaySpring. About a year later, my husband's job moved us to NW Arkansas, and those friendships deepened. A few months after moving there, an opportunity to work as a part-time temp while one of the employees took maternity leave opened. Her job spanned many different roles, and I was able to choose the area that I was most comfortable working. I chose to work with Meet Me in the Meadow, helping to manage the blog and post the daily writings of Roy Lessin, a writer I had respected for many years.
I always felt sure that I had made the best choice, for my skill set and my ministry heart. As they learned of my long-learned love of photography (and vast nature photo files to draw from) I was able to include my own photos with each post, and submit photos for special online projects.
When people wrote in with a need, Roy and Mandy encouraged me to interact with the reader via email, writing prayers out - from my heart to God - for their special needs. Sometimes those emails carried on into friendship for a season, sometimes we would get a letter back with an answer as to how God provided. Often we heard nothing else, and that's ok too... because it is ALL about what God can do through us, and not about what we could do on our own.
Today it was announced that new postings for Meet Me in the Meadow will be ending at the first of August. Roy will continue to write for DaySpring Devotionals (a Sunday email with several wonderful writers). The end of the blog will end my contract with DaySpring - which I anticipated would happen some day... I just didn't know when.
It's a bittersweet moment.
I have been SO blessed to have been able to partner with Roy Lessin in the ministry of Meet Me in the Meadow. He and Mandy, and others at the DaySpring offices always treated me with respect and kindness, and I've been baffled if they are bosses, co-workers, or friends. I suppose when you have kindred spirits knit together in Christ, it's easy for those lines to cross.
I've been blogging a long time, and writing longer still. A year ago, almost exactly, I made some major shifts in my personal blog space (here) to do what the popular bloggers were doing. My personal blogging has always been separate from Meet Me in the Meadow (and I'd been doing it a lot longer!). I prayerfully changed my website feel, the direction, the name. It was an experience, something new to me.
Somehow it seemed like I was trying on someone else's shoes for the season... they weren't quite "me." Yet He didn't abandon me, but used it to continue to change me, it opened my life into a season of letting go, being transformed.
About 6 months ago, I heard God whispering "smaller" to me. We had made another move (our 5th move in 5 years, zig-zagging back and forth over 4 states), and I was weary from moving. God's hand led us, directed us, and protected us - but it was still hard when the last move was voluntary, and we ended up leaving a church we loved, a ministry I was embedded in, and so many wonderful friends.
Harder still was that we landed in a place we saw God provide, but we faced a series of personal hardships regarding ministry and relationships within the church.
God was indeed making my life smaller.
Still, the ministry of Meet Me in the Meadow went on, and in addition to working to see that ministry succeed, I became it's biggest advocate.
SO often the words I would work with one week would take on a personal application as I read them online the next week. God's grace abounded, even as I spend day after day, alone at home, in a new neighborhood. In my getting smaller with God, I was being pointed closer and closer to Him.
Meet Me in the Meadow is still one of the only blogs I read daily - not just because I work with it, but because it ALWAYS points me to the Truth of the Word of God. I will miss the new posts in August, as many of you will, but I will be one of the people digging into the archives, via the search box on the blog. There is so much wisdom and encouragement there!!
Since letting go of my "new blog," and praying through the journey that has led us to today, I have felt God turn a corner with me. He's led me to reconfigure the blog of my heart, Marina's Kitchen Table, the spot that I love being at. He has allowed me to walk through a season of difficulty and personal growth in my faith. I am ready to put my photos and words back here again.
My prayer is that you, the reader, will enjoy walking this journey with me - wherever it is that God is leading. I felt early on in my Christian life, that God called me to be a sojourner. Even still, in the smallest of apartments, each place we have lived has had some sort of a kitchen table area; to prepare meals, eat at, share bread over, tell about our journeys and show our photos, share the Gospel, to gather and take hands and pray around.
I'm hoping that through God's power and grace, that He will allow us to do these things around Marina's Kitchen Table. My prayer is that you'll return and join us here, always to encourage each other in our relationships with Him.