Merry Christmas everyone! This has been quite a year for the Huckaby family, and the holidays in particular have been very impactful and very busy for us.
God has been opening my eyes to how I view myself, and the pressure Kelly and I have felt this year to behave a certain way because we are on deputation with ACTION to leave for Zambia as missionaries.
For instance, when we spend time with friends or family everyone seems to feel like they have to pick up the tab for us every single time, or buy us more expensive gifts than they normally would. Because we are fundraising for Zambia, people are trying to help by taking care of expenses for us whenever they can. Now don't get me wrong - I think this is awesome! And of course, in a lot of ways, it really does help us move closer to our goal because we can put money that Kelly makes working at the Cheerful into our Zambia fund. If the Lord is moving people to be generous, that is wonderful. But at the same time I feel awkward about it because I don't want people doing things like that because they just feel obligated.
Also it is awkward because Kelly and I are always obsessing about money now in a way we never did before. Kelly and I have always tried to treat our money as the LORD's money. We have tried to keep our expenses low and have tried to give in the past as the Lord led us. We both love being able to use money to bless people. But this year, because we have been trying to put as much money as we can towards our Zambia fund or towards training, it has made spending money a lot more complicated. Now if we want to give toward a cause or buy a special gift or treat a friend to dinner we agonize over it or over-analyze it... and honestly, it takes all the fun out of it!
Christmas this year was complicated because my love language is definitely PRESENTS. I love giving presents! And I love getting presents! Maybe it seems superficial but it is the truth. And I love treating a friend to coffee or breakfast occassionally. But instead of just choosing special gifts for people and making a few special things, Kelly and I wasted a lot of time and energy worrying about money, and more to the point, what people might think if we spent money on gifts. It's so strange to be thinking, "Is this person going to feel I'm being irresponsible if I buy them this gift? Will they think I should be putting every cent towards our Zambia fund instead?"
Anyway, God gave me a lot of insight and peace about this issue as we celebrated Christ's birth with friends and family. We attended Cornwall Church's 3pm service on Christmas Eve and had a lot of quality time with people. I also had a lot of time to read while we were house-sitting for our friends, the Rudolphs, and I was able to enjoy Dangerous Wonder, Jews for Jesus, and Personality Plus, all of which I would recommend to anyone interested in thinking about what it means to BE YOURSELF to the glory of God.
I'm sure that this will be an ongoing struggle for Kelly and I as we continue to gather supporters for ministry in Zambia and we would appreciate your prayers for us. We always want to be authentic and not give into weird insecurities or expectations about some kind of mysterious missionary image. I welcome your comments as well, if you have thoughts for me on this.
We had hoped to leave for Zambia in January but we still need monthly supporters. I am now praying to leave by the end of April and Kelly and I are both very excited that 2010 will be THE YEAR WE MOVED TO ZAMBIA!!!! God bless you all! And Happy New Year!