My Cup Runneth Over ... No, Really!

Psalm 23:5 reads, "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over."

There's enough in that one verse to preach for many weeks. But the very end, "My cup runneth over" means so much to me: God has blessed me so abundantly that I lack for nothing, my life is very full, and I have plenty to share with others.

I love my life. Sure there are things that are challenging, uncomfortable, even painful, but when you put it all together, I am who I am because of it all. And then there are those moments when I say to myself, "THIS is what it's all about..."

Remembering when Elange and my daughter, Alexis were both three and AJay was two. They were all buddies and oh so adorable...

And the next year when Dan and Tammy Lee came to Haiti and they all were part of the drama team...

And to see Elange this week, knowing how hard she has worked over these past 16 years - well, I'm just so proud of her...

To see our former students now teaching the younger students and watching them take pleasure in their accomplishments...

Remembering hiring musicians to play at our first graduation ceremony...

And now watching our new graduates accompany their classmates on keyboard, bass, and drums...

Even Facebook confirms the joy I experience in my family...

And the wonderful friends... too numerous to show you and each too special to risk leaving someone out. From preschool playmates to high school rivals, Facebook has rekindled many friendships and made them stronger. The gloomy, "I hate my life" feelings I retained from my youth have mostly been replaced by the pleasant moments these friends have reminded me of.

I am grateful for my Connecticut roots being re-established and nurtured. The many friends I made after high school and the many more I've made in the last sixteen years while living in Haiti, bring such contentment to my whole being. The newer friends from diverse places around the USA and reaching over the oceans to Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as right here in Haiti are beyond anything I'd ever imagined.

Today, I am particularly grateful for our new full-time missionary, Angie Shepherd. She is from Charlotte and was part of the original team that came to "check us out" from Bless Back Worldwide. We have cultivated a friendship over the years that now has the opportunity to blossom. We both are particularly enjoying the ocean these days. For a while we would get up early to walk, but the heat and other circumstances were wearing on our commitment to that. We decided to "swim" together" instead - or perhaps "energetically" tread water and talk would be a more accurate description of what we do. But we now get in some activity each day, communicate regularly, and bring our body temperatures down enough to have a cool start to our days. It is a joyful way to start each day.

To me, life is about emptying myself of me for the sake of you...and you...and you...and you............

I have been down a very long road. I identify with Christ, not because I am such an amazingly holy and righteous person, but because I am so ... human. I have made many, many poor choices for my life. I have chosen to put my own needs before anyone else's. I have lived in a continuous state of sin. I have been sick. All of this before coming to Christ. And all of this after coming to Christ. While there were definite changes in my life after I chose to follow Jesus, I am still me and I still have many of the same fleshly struggles I always had. I did not suddenly become perfect, but I did suddenly realize that God is not against me. I discovered that He loves me just the way I am and He wants to show me how to be the best me I can be. And I am so privileged to be used in His service from time to time to bring blessings into someone else's life. What an incredible honor.

Many thanks to all of you who have made this journey, called Renée's life, so incredible thus far. Thank you for your support and prayers and genuine interest in being a part of it all.

I received some really exciting news this week. Actually, I received several tidbits, but I'm not at liberty to share them all yet. :) Our friends at Sir Isaac (advertising and PR agency in Salem, MA) have a new intern on board for the summer. I met Alphonse on the phone this week and he's really full of great ideas. I'm looking forward to working with him and hoping that together we will find even more people to help carry the Gospel message along with humanitarian support and educational training to the people of Haiti.

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