"Monday started the 24 hour prayer and worship leading up to The Send (thesend.org) on Saturday. This week is called, "The Flood". People from many different organizations and churches have descended on Orlando, FL to flood the streets with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's so exciting!
Yesterday we went to a very busy shopping area to show people the love of Jesus. I was talking with one of my friends who just got back from the Philipines. He took his family of 7 there, and saw people come to know Jesus. His group also witnessed miraculous healings!
We were talking about how many see a family as a hindrance to sharing the gospel. Our day was about to prove that wrong.
We had been in a few stores, talking and praying for people, and decided to go to Chick-fil-A. All four of the Hoeckle kids and one of my friend's kids went straight to the play area. We sat around a large table in the middle and prayed together for direction.
During the prayer, I felt like I should go into the kids area. I did and I immediately met a 5 yr old boy named Ethan. He began showing me all his "ninja" moves. Then he flipped me off. He looked at me and raised his middle finger high in the air. I was speechless and as if I didn't notice, he explained, "I'm showing you my middle finger."
Now, a 5 yr old kid learns this stuff somewhere, so I felt an urgency to share quickly with him. I hadn't seen his parents the entire time and I had visions of an angry parent coming in to yell at me. I eventually talked to him between kicks and jumps to ask him if he knew Jesus.
He said, "Oh yeah, I know all kinds of stuff about Jesus. I go to Christian school."
I replied, "Well, you keep learning about Jesus, because He's awesome. OK?"
It was then about time to leave and I walked out and waited with Mirabelle, our youngest. An elderly lady commented on what a cute 2 yr old we have. If someone talks to you, this is always an invitation to talk with them. So I did. I asked her lots of questions about her family and found out she only knows where 6 of her 7 grandkids live. I asked her if we (at this point it was Xander, Judah and I) could pray for her 9 yr old grandson. We did and she was very thankful. The love of the Father is a precious gift.
My friend was praying for a family on the other side of the store, and Mary was praying for an elderly man near the back corner. I went back by her, thinking she was almost done, when I saw a guy with a scowl on his face... sitting as far from the play area as possible. He was covered in tattoos and piercings and could possibly inflict fear into more than a few people.
As I'm praying about what to say to him, my ninja friend walks up to him and grabs the drink on the other side of his table and smiles. I say hi to Ethan as he walks back to the play area and turn my eyes to the man I now know as his dad.
Any fear I had was now gone.
"Hi, how are you doing? Is that your son?""
"Yes," he replies as his face changed from scowl to confused.
"He was just teaching me ninja moves in the play area," I said.
He began to laugh and I had an open door to share Jesus. This hard man's heart had a soft spot and the Holy Spirit knew it.
Think back over this story:
1. I wouldn't have went in the play area if I didn't have kids
2. I wouldn't have talked and prayed with the elderly lady had Mirabelle not been there
3. I had no idea how to get at a hard man's heart without first meeting his son
I would say without a doubt that children only help in sharing Jesus. They lighten the mood. They can create an instant commonality. They have childlike faith! They're a blessing.
You can do this with your family or with a friend. It just takes time, some prayer and a willing heart.
Hey, family!! I just have to take a few minutes and tell you how AWESOME God is!!! Friends, family and more friends!! We have been traveling through the US for 4 ½ months and have been connecting with people all along the way. It is so fulfilling for us to have these relationships with people; relationships that are more like family than friends.
Our journey right now is to join our lives, wholly and completely, with the people God puts in our path. God has given us “family” all over the place, and our family keeps growing. Jesus speaks of this, “...No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present time: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--along with persecutions--and in the age to come eternal life” Mark 10 29-30. We have claimed this passage for our family as we have left everything behind to follow the direction of God for our lives.
And, he continues to come through on his promise! Seriously. At every stop along our travels for the past 4.5 months, we have seen deep relationships form.
Family. It has been incredibly simple to connect our hearts with the people that cross our paths. So simple. There is no other way to describe the deep love we have for these people except, God. God has orchestrated our journey in order for our lives to intersect.
Today we are fighting self-doubt. Today has been another day we have found ourselves asking, “What are we even doing?” I mean, we have so much fun traveling around and seeing the country with our kiddos and our friends, but the feelings of self-doubt can rise up strong against us.
And, today is one of those days when we are fighting those feelings.
We are currently in Mobile, Alabama and the southern drawl is strong here. There have been times over the past couple days when we have had to request that people repeat themselves... 😆 It's exactly like you imagine it is for us NoDaks.
Also, the humidity is no joke (we sweat in 63°) and there are all kinds of bugs, alligators, sharks and snakes just ready to pounce on the unsuspecting victim of curiosity. Haha… Not 100% accurate, but we are watching the trails vigilantly when out on nature walks.
Okay, back to the ugly little thing called, “doubting our purpose”…
First, we have to talk about what our purpose actually is. Is our purpose in life to travel around, see the sights, eat good food and have a grand ole time? Absolutely, NOT! That may be fun for a time, but it will quickly leave us bored and longing for more.
Our purpose is always Jesus. Always. Every time. Everyday. Every second of every minute of every day. Our 3-yr-old, Mercy, so eloquently stated recently, “Everything is Jesus.” And, we wholeheartedly agree.
Everything is Jesus. Our lives have 1 mandate; 1 purpose: to give GLORY to Jesus.
So, what does that look like hanging out in the bayou on the border of the Gulf of Mexico folding laundry in our RV with the AC blasting?
I believe it looks like Colossians 3:2 “Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm.”
Jesus continually pulled himself away from the crowds and the miracles and the excitement of life to be alone with Father God. If Jesus spent extended periods of intimate alone time with God, shouldn't we expect to do the same?
Let me give you a few examples of this mom of 4’s “alone” time with Jesus:
We LOVE, love, love the moments in our lives where it is evident we are speaking truth into people's hearts; like the time I stopped on the streets of New Orleans to give a young girl, all alone, my money and a mama-bear hug. Those are seriously the bomb.com💣 moments. But, those moments are small snippets of our life.
The majority of our minutes are spent in other more mundane activities. Activities like the ones mentioned above.
But, that's ok because we are making a conscious decision to focus on eternity in the normalcy. We are choosing to, right now, focus our minds on Jesus and let Him intimately speak to our hearts.
Our purpose is the kingdom of heaven.
Our lives are all for the glory of Jesus.
EVERYTHING is Jesus.
Here I am, sitting on our couch, which is also our bed, in our 40 foot RV. Our 2 little girls are beside me and they are chomping on a mixture of peanuts and raisins like little chipmunks. The weather today is rainy and grey, which significantly helped these 2 little chipmunks take long naps.
I love days like these when they are mixed into a sunny life. Days designed to make us rest. Just stay inside and enjoy the cozy closeness of togetherness. Actually, this has been a season of rest for us. A time to learn how to live in beautiful harmony as a family of 6 traveling full-time around this great country.
We are thoroughly enjoying our adventure in the RV. We see life emphasized, confined here in our 320 sq feet of living space.
And, boy do we have areas that we need to grow!
We have felt that our family is in the process of building a strong foundation. A strong foundation that will be able to support our lives in the future. Foundations are so very important, as we all know. The strength of a foundation determines the size of structure it can support without collapsing. And, we believe that our foundation for our family needs to be strong. We believe the future our family is going to walk into is going to require a strong and firm foundation.
One way to test the strength of our foundation is to apply pressure and observe where cracks form. Pressure can come from all sorts of places: external influences and internal ones. For example, let’s say your "driving house" breaks down in a small Mississippi town. We don’t know people in this town and we sure as heck don’t know how to fix a diesel anything! How are we going to respond? Does anxiousness seep in and bring tension to our relationships? Do we blast the worship music and keep our minds focused on eternally significant things? Is there a crack in the foundation of our lives that needs to be inspected?
Another example is when people we love are diagnosed with cancer. We have been crying out to Heaven to see diseases bow their knees to the name of Jesus. Then, we hear of another cancer diagnosis. Do we choose to continue contending for healing of all sickness? Or, do we faint with weariness and retreat back? Does our foundation need attention and work?
We want to be able to walk in the wholeness of the glory of God. That is a lot of weight. That requires our foundation to be solid and uncompromising. So, we ask God, our Father, to reveal the areas of weakness in our foundation and to repair those weaknesses. Sometimes, a lot of repairs are needed and the process is extensive and intrusive. And, when working with a heart of flesh, the process of repair is often painful. It is painful to walk through the healing of old trust wounds. It is painful to walk the journey of overcoming fear and anxiety.
But, who wants to stay trapped in that crap anyway???
Not me! Not my family!
So, we embrace the process of revealing and repairing the cracks in our foundation. We embrace the process of building a sturdy foundation so that we can fully carry the weight of glory our future is going to bear. We embrace with expectancy the time spent in building a strong foundation.
Because after expectant waiting, the reward will come. We are constantly looking forward to the reward of seeing the full glory and goodness of the Lord while on this side of Heaven.
Love you all,
Hi! We're the Hoeckles.
We're a family of six living full-time in an RV. We are inviting you to join us as we live life to its fullest and empower others to do the same. Welcome to the family!