A Heart of Flesh

Just Becky's Thoughts on Life and Stuff

Almost Another Year…. December 30, 2014

Filed under: Becky's Thoughts... — A Heart of Flesh @ 6:23 pm

Hello Friends and followers,

Are any of you still with me?  Sometimes, I’m not even sure I am still with me!  Life has been kind of like that lately.  Running out of control.  To where?  I have no idea.

The holidays have been unusual for my family and me.  Thanksgiving started the holiday season with my Daddy in the hospital.  His health issues have been a discouraging series of unanswered questions for all of us.  We celebrated Thanksgiving as a family, without Daddy.  The morning started off with me running the Jeep off the road on a patch of ice.  I never did make it down to see him in the hospital that day.

The next few weeks saw Daddy in and out of the hospital, seeing doctor after doctor.  It is exhausting.

Christmas approached with all of us not being sure if Daddy would be in the hospital or with us at Christmas.  Then, just 3 days before Christmas, we received the devastating news that our cousin, Vashti, passed away in South Africa.  What a sudden and shocking death.  She was only 29 years old.  Of course, with it being Christmas week, tickets to South Africa were just too ridiculously expensive.  Sigh.

We are so sad for our family in South Africa having to wade through these waters of deep grief and sorrow.  I cannot imagine South Africa without Vashti.

Christmas was a lovely day spent with my family.  As a family, we opened gifts at our home with Clint and the girls.  Then, in the afternoon, we went to my Seester’s home and had Christmas with Seester and her family and Mom and Daddy.  It was a very nice day, especially so since Daddy was with us.  I hope you all had a blessed day as well.

I finished my second year of college, working on my teaching degree.  I should be graduating from Ivy Tech, but as it turned out, I was ill-advised last Spring about my course selection, so I am short one course.  So, I am taking that last course next semester and will graduate with my Associate’s degree in May.  My plan had been to start at Ball State University for my Bachelor’s degree in January.  However, because of my needing one more course at Ivy Tech, we decided that I will just take the one course next semester and have a bit of a break before I start at Ball State in August.  So, this pushes my final graduation back a semester, but Clint and I decided this is better for me (mentally) and for our family.

I made a goal at the beginning of 2014 to do 12 5K races this year.  The plan was to do one a month this year.  Well, then Snowmageddon hit and I did not start the 5K’s until April.  Well, guess what?  I have fallen in love with doing these 5k’s.  I did a total of 6, which was only half of my goal.  But it is 6 more than I ever did before!  At one of the races, I saw a t-shirt that someone was wearing and it has inspired me so much!  It said, “If you’re moving, you’re improving”.  So much truth in that!  So, even though I didn’t hit my goal of 12 races, I was moving.  And I was improving each time.  And I lost 15 pounds.  It was a win.

So as the new year approaches, I am feeling overwhelmed.  Life has overwhelmed me this year.  In good ways and in bad ways.  We bought our first house this year.  I started a new journey of 5K races.  I have a new job in a middle school that I absolutely and completely love.  I have friends who love me even when I’m stupid.  I have a great family.  I am blessed.  So, yes, I am overwhelmed, in good ways.  And sometimes in dumb ways.  But I am excited as I look forward to 2015.

Who knows what could happen?


TWENTY YEARS AGO October 27, 2014

Filed under: Becky's Thoughts... — A Heart of Flesh @ 3:00 am

It started 20 years ago.  And I did not see it coming.  But it would change my life.

A friendship.  Of epic proportions.

With 3 other girls.

I started college in a teensy little Bible School in Wisconsin in August 1994.  We were required to sit in alphabetical order in class.  Since my last (maiden) name started with a W, it made sense that the people I got to know the quickest had the last names of White and Warren.  I don’t remember meeting them.  I don’t remember the friendship in the developing phase.  What I do remember is that I hardly have a single memory of those two years that does not include these two girls, plus one more who came a semester after us.

Cora, Amy and Corrie. The sisters that grew into my heart and have stayed there these past twenty years.

20 years.

If you have followed my sporadic blog at all, you might recall a post from….2011?…..when I talked briefly about these friendships.  These….lifeships.  They have been more than friends…we have shared life.

Here is an insert from what I said about them in that post a few years ago:

There are 4 of us girls who all met in college (A little shout-out here to New Tribes Bible Institute!), became true sisters of the soul and have continued this unbelievable friendship over the past 17 years.  (yes, we are old now).  There have been trials and struggles, joys and triumphs in all of our lives.  We live in different, far apart places and see each other in person only every few years.  But the distance has never changed the depth of our friendship.  We have walked through the valley of the shadow of death together and we have sung on the highest mountain together.  We have mourned together and we have laughed.  Oh, believe me, we have laughed.  Corrie, Amy and Cora are sisters of my heart.

Well, I spent the last week in Maine with Amy and Cora (and Amy’s husband and 6 – yes SIX – children).  We did the normal thrift-store hopping, eating, talking, crying, and yes, laughing.  Even as we close in on 40 years old (I am the closest to that….), we can still pick right up where we left off as if no time has passed.


September 2, 2013

Filed under: Becky's Thoughts... — A Heart of Flesh @ 12:19 pm

Yesterday I sat trying to write a required paper for my Infant and Child Development class.  It was an article review and had to be written in APA format with proper citations, both in-text and on the references/works cited page.  blah blah blah.  All the rules and regulations.  

In my frustration, I felt like screaming, “JUST LET ME WRITE WHAT I WANT!” 

Yeah, it’s been that long since I blogged.  I had almost forgotten the freedom and joy I find in blogging.  

So, here I am again.  In the midst of my crazy life (full-time Mom and wife, full-time para-teacher, full-time student).  I might as well blog, too.  I need a place to sort it all out and just be. 

Join me.  Start the coffee a-brewin’.  I’m looking forward to it.


Overwhelmed But Not Consumed. November 15, 2012

Filed under: Becky's Thoughts... — A Heart of Flesh @ 1:13 pm

Tomorrow will mark 3 weeks that we have been back in the USA.  And this is my first post since then.  What does that tell you?  It tells you that I have been just too overwhelmed to think about what I might want to tell anyone.


On the outside, everything is good.  We arrived back to Kokomo, to our little apartment where we stayed for 6 months in 2010-2011.  Same apartment, same furniture, same sheets, same same same.  That has been a comfort. Being in the familiar.  When we arrived, there was a 2002 Pontiac Montana minivan in the driveway….a gift for us from Crossroads Community Church!  What a blessing that van has already been in 3 weeks!  We’ve never been given a car before…Wow.  Just wow.

The girls got into the school that we had prayed for.  We are getting settled in very well.

But my heart just feels turned upside down and inside out.  Surprisingly, none of us feel particularly sad about leaving Panama, or even about having left OM.  We feel just so at peace and 100% sure that this is where God has lead us. But there is a part of my heart that just feels overwhelmed with this new phase.  So overwhelmed that I don’t even know why or with what.  But, even in this re-entry and re-defining phase of our life, we are trusting God.  We are blessed as we see Him opening doors for us and our future here in the States.  He has been good to us and always faithful.

So even as we navigate this new life, we trust in the One who is neither old nor new.  And we wait on Him.


Time’s Up! October 24, 2012

Filed under: Becky's Thoughts... — A Heart of Flesh @ 3:41 am

I just looked back at the last entries that I posted and it’s been 7 weeks.  I can’t believe how much has happened in those 7 weeks!  I feel exhausted just thinking back about it!

As I type this now, I am sitting in a hotel in Panama City, Panama just 63 hours away from flying out of Panama.  Our house and our lives are packed up, diluted down to just 10 suitcases and 18 boxes.  That happened in 7 weeks.  Also during those 7 weeks, Clint has been to Ecuador and back; and to South Africa and back.  There were 3 yard sales (“Venta de Patio”).  We sold our van to a couple – neither of whom have a driver’s licenses.  There was a trip to a beach that ended up at the pool since we couldn’t get to the beach because all the fisherman were not fishing.  There were 2 official Farewell Parties for us.  Our landlady arrived back in Volcan and literally moved into our house minutes before we left.  Then there was the 7-hour drive to Panama City yesterday.

It has been crazy.  Busy.  There have been tears.  There have been hugs.  There have been good-byes and see-ya-laters.  We even had to say good-bye to Meisie, our lovely and loved Golden Retriever.  After all we did to get her ready to come with us, it ended up just being too expensive.  But guess what?  She gets to stay in HER yard and HER house with our landlady!  We have been so blessed with the very best landlady for these almost-2 years, and she loves dogs and she is going to provide a loving home for our doggy.  That’s the bright spot in this otherwise sad (and VERY tearful) story!

And now?  Now, there is the excitement of the unknown ahead of us.

We are taking these last 3 days to spend together, as a family, relaxing in a hotel.  I’m so grateful we’re doing this.  We have never, ever done this before.  Just relaxed in a hotel.  But it’s good to do it now.  Just rest.  And catch our breath.

As a reminder of a big part of WHY we’re moving, Dad started chemotherapy this morning.  My sister, Jennifer, has been so faithful in updating and explaining all that’s going on with Dad and this journey that we’re on together.  You should check out her blog if you want to know more about the cancer and the treatment and stuff….   palmtreejen.wordpress.com

So, I am here enjoying not having to do anything at all.  For a couple more days, anyway!



Dad’s Musing – Peace September 7, 2012

Filed under: Becky's Thoughts... — A Heart of Flesh @ 1:27 pm

My dad writes a sort of devotional many mornings on Facebook.  I thought this morning’s was really good so I am copying it here.  He calls it “Max’s Morning Musing”……

“Max’s Morning Musing; Do you ever wake up in the night (or really early morning) and can’t go back to sleep? It seems that happens to me more and more of late. There are a lot of things I could blame it on, but, mostly, when I wake up early like that there is something, or someone on my mind. I find it best just to get up and start my daily routine. Well, this morning was one of those mornings. There seems to be so much going on in my life and family that I cannot do a thing about. I am one to fight for the things I believe in, but there are some things that no matter how hard I fight, I cannot do a thing about. Some things I simply cannot control, I can’t win those battles. I know I’m not the only one with those things in life, changes in family living places, health, ministry that you wonder if you did enough. I always wonder when a family I have spent time with falls apart, did I do all I could have? Stuff I can’t control! That’s the kind of stuff that wakes me up. In the midst of all that stuff that rattles around in my gray matter, there very often will be a Scripture that pops in and gives me some reassurance. That happened this morning, the verse was there as I was getting my coffee. I was thinking about all that stuff that I cannot control, and there it was! That verse! I know it’s in Isaiah – but where? So, I get up, get my coffee, and sit down with God’s Word. Aha! There it is, Isaiah 26:12, “Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.” I find that I need to be constantly reminded of that, despite all the stuff that wakes me up, the Lord establishes peace for me! Why don’t I live in that? All that I accomplish isn’t really my own doing. He has done it for me. What an amazing privilege to think that I serve the Creator of everything, and He allows me to be a part of His plan. And, gives me His Peace! Why do I wake up worrying about the things I cannot control? Because I’m still human! But, I will try to get a nap later today to get my rest, and in the mean time, I’m going to stand on the truth of Isaiah 26:12, “Lord, you have established peace for us (me); all that we (I) have you have established for us (me).” I’m going with that today, will you join me? Blessings!”


Random Thursday September 6, 2012

Filed under: Becky's Thoughts... — A Heart of Flesh @ 9:47 pm

Thought #1:  

I am starting to feel ever-so-slightly overwhelmed by this process that lies in front of me.  We have been packing our house up (again! It feels like we were JUST doing this in South Africa, but that was actually over 3 years ago!).  Clint leaves Saturday for meetings in Ecuador.  He gets back home next Saturday, Sept 15 and then leaves on another international trip the following week and will be gone for 2 weeks for that trip.  When he gets back, our students graduate on October 14 and then we leave less than 10 days after that.  For good.  Holy moly, that’s not much time!  

Thought #2:

Since I got back from the USA a couple of weeks ago, I have been walking almost every morning with Meisie.  There is a two-fold purpose in this:  We all need the exercise and Meisie really needs to be leash-trained before we travel.  But I have also been trying to watch what I’m eating, in the hopes that I could lose some weight.  I only share this to say that I have felt hungry for the last 2 weeks.  In fact, I am hungry right now.

Thought #3:

Oh my gosh, we are moving to the USA.  All of us are so excited about this fact!  Clint is a little bit nervous, to be honest.  He is already feeling the pressure of finding a job and providing for his family.  I just know that God is going to open doors for him.  The girls are so excited about school in the USA!  To be honest, I am also looking forward to not feeling completely confused – and frustrated – about how things are run at their school!  We are still not sure where they are going to go to school, but we’re pretty sure it’s down to two options:  Eastern Schools in Greentown or Tri-Central in Sharpsville.  

Thought #4:

As I write this entry, there is a couple here looking at our van to decide if they want to buy it or not.  Our God van.  The miracle car He provided for us.  We have had a lot of trouble with this van, but even so, we really love it and have loved having it for the last few months.  I hope whoever buys it will love it as much as we do.

Thought #5:

As I wrote previously, one of the reasons that we are leaving missions is our continual struggle with our support.  I know this is not an uncommon struggle for missionaries, but after 11 years, it starts to wear on you.  Even right now, our support is low and we are struggling.  In this time when we need to have the extra funds necessary to make an international move, we just don’t.  Again, we continue in this life of faith, trusting that God is going to provide what we need for TODAY (food, money for bills, etc…) but also that He is going to provide what we need for TOMORROW (airfare, shipping, etc…).  This financial frustration is an old one.  To be very honest, I am over it.  But I’m not over trusting God.  That is what keeps my sanity somewhat in tact.

Final Thoughts:

There is a stirring in my heart as I anticipate all of the exciting things that lie ahead for me, and for my family in the coming months and years.  Old friendships to re-kindle; new friendships to grow; as-yet-unknown friendships to make; time with my parents and my sister and her family; holidays together with these loved ones; life celebrations; SO MANY THINGS.

So, with all these random thoughts occupying my mind today, the biggest one is this thought of the unopened gift that is our future.


Tina Bustamante

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