October 2018 ~
Your days are at least as full as mine, I’m sure. Therefore, you’ve got my gratitude for the time you are taking to pause and enter in to my little writing studio to partake.
My hope is that my words here serve you in some way.
I’ve kept a blog for about thirteen years.
This is the re-launch.
There is so much these hands are eager to offer up and write.
Over the years I’ve written posts about those things with which I’m well-acquainted (click on “top posts” to see a sampling).
I’ve even written a book, acquired by Inter-Varsity Press (2009). You might have read it.
Running into Water: Women Immersed in the Pursuit of God was a four-year project. I wrote it because at the time, I couldn’t find anything meaty and relevant enough that stimulated me as a young woman to consider the intellectual, biblical and global application of motherhood. My book is for those interested in the spiritual formation of themselves and their children. It is a deep, thoughtful and well-researched read, yet equally personal and raw. Many women around the world have resonated with its themes and found language for their own experiences and desires, as well as a clarion call to pursue God with a whole heart. Some have reported they were taken to a “feast” and left full; it is my heart to love my readers in this way.
Back to this blog… these writings are my tracks, the proof of my pilgrimage. They are some of the things I’ve noticed along the way and worked to both report and assimilate into my ever-growing person and that of my family. For me, there is no true understanding without working it out in words, for I work inductively.
I’ve been married 20 years now and we have three sons (18, 12 and 21 months) and one daughter (9). I grew up in West Michigan, attended college in Chicago (BS in biblical studies/missions/education) and we lived in Southwest Florida before we moved to Mexico in 2013.
Under Ripe for Harvest World Outreach we now serve as missionaries. We spent our first term of service in the state of Puebla, where we enjoyed a daily view of the massive active volcano. My husband established relationships with village governments and helped lead in short-term teams to complete clean water projects and do follow-up with discipleship. I hosted women’s prayer gatherings and bible studies in our home, taught evangelistic painting classes and was part of the preaching team in our church.
Our family spent last year in an unbelievably hot, little coastal fishing village where my oldest son and I studied Spanish full-time. A large iguana lived in our ceiling and peered down at us while we ate supper. Scorpions and tarantulas often decorated our mosquito nets. But, we heard the ocean at nights from our beds and when we ran outside to use the bathroom we saw a clear sky poked through with starry lights.
Now, having entered our next 4-year term, we live in the state of Oaxaca. God has brought us here and we’ve a strong sense that it will be for many, many years as he supplies. This time we find ourselves in a dry and cactus-ridden desert valley. My husband is working to get already translated Scriptures into audio format and then distributed to the more than 120 language groups located in this state alone — many who have never heard the gospel in their heart language. We also work together at Casa Compasiva, a birthing clinic in the Oaxaca City where women can experience safe and nurturing care. There we serve in the areas of carpentry/maintenance and prayer/spiritual formation for the staff and clients. This year I’m teaching middle school ancient history too, at a school for missionary children where three of our children attend.
I live a full life containing many of the common challenges of raising a family in a foreign culture. It’s a good one because Jesus is worthy of our joyful obedience and pouring out all we are for the sake of expanding, deepening and strengthening his kingdom.
I’m 42 now and it feels like I’ve reached a summit of sorts.
Much of my old angsts and wrestlings are gone. Much healing into wholeness has transpired. Some things are settled, and some things I’ve realized are not worth the time and energy. Perspective brings maturity and an accepted identity.
There are things I’ve discerned and allowed to compost within of which I am compelled to now give a voice (which also means the time is ripe to write more books).
There is much ground covered in the living and in the learning, and yet a pressing to go higher in for, ‘there remains very much land left to possess’ (Joshua 13:1).
As this blog is re-launched with sharper focus, I want to write about — unpacking from different angles — what is perhaps one of my greatest discoveries so far, of which I now hold fast:
Happiness comes through holiness.
It’s not as if this hasn’t been proclaimed before, for nothing is new under the sun. But, many things are said and remain as just words until they become embodied through one’s particular life, in a way only they can testify to it. I desire my life to give increased breath to this beautiful truth. It is the natural outflow of the Gospel of Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
So this is the theme which I will arrive back at again and again here in this blog space — even as I continue to write about those things which I know best, out of my life here in Mexico, loving and serving as a missionary.
This theme is the view from which I invite you to look and live from as you read, and hopefully as you interact with my words. Please don’t be shy. Writers need the synergy of a community of respondents in order to advance in their craft.
This theme “happiness through holiness” is one which many saints whom have walked before us have also declared:
“God would make us happy, but he can only make us happy by making us holy. Happiness and holiness are cognate truths…they are twin sisters. He must be happy who is holy…Sin in the parent of all misery; holiness the root of all happiness.” – Octavius Winslow
“Man…was made holy for this end, that he might be happy in enjoying God.” – Anslem
“Augustine and Aquinas recognized that the heart of the Christian life is learning about happiness…” – Paul J. Wadell
“A holy life, according to the book of Psalms, results in a happy life…a life lived in keeping with God’s teachings.” -Mark Futato
“To be holy is to see God as he is and to become like him, covered in Christ’s righteousness. And since God’s nature is to be happy, the more like him we become in our sanctification, the happier we become.” -Randy Alcorn
“The holiness and happiness of man…these are things that God loves. These things are infinitely more agreeable to his nature than to ours.” -Jonathan Edwards
“Holiness is the royal road to happiness. The death of sin is the life of joy.” – Charles Spurgeon
“The more holy we are upon earth, the more happy we must be.” – Charles Wesley
“How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets the real thing…it is irresistible. If even 10% of the world’s population had it, would not the whole world be converted and happy before a year’s end?” – C.S. Lewis
“Goodness and holiness are not only the way to happiness, but happiness itself.” – Matthew Henry
~ Personal Contact Information ~
firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram: @ablycker
Almighty Maker of heaven and Maker of earth
And in Jesus Christ his only begotten son, our Lord
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
Born of the virgin Mary
Suffered under Pontius Pilate
He was crucified and dead and buried
I did not make it, no it is making me
It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man
He descended into hell and on the third day, rose again
He ascended into heaven where He sits at God’s mighty right hand
I believe that Jesus is returning
To judge the quick and the dead of the sons of men