Family Photos 2018

Photo Credit: Gabrielle Mycroft … Thanks Gabby!

Our family has been living full time here at Gleanings for about two years now. We came to live here after hearing the call from God to serve as full-time missionaries with YWAM.

It felt like a crazy transition to change from having a full-time income to living completely by the monetary support of our friends and family. I talked a little bit about this in my last post. But God has been providing in miraculous ways, first to cover the cost of our Discipleship Training School, DTS outreach, and now our monthly expenses.

Before we came to live at Gleanings, we brought teams here from our home church for about ten summers and eight or nine winters, 1-2 weeks per year. We fell in love with the ministry and the staff, and just like many volunteers, we felt like this place was a second home.

Now we live in a mobile home that is owned by Gleanings. We have a little front porch, back porch, and a small shed to hold our seasonal items. We love our cute little house, and it really feels like home. Andy hung string lights out front and back that make the place feel very warm and cozy.

Eliana is growing up way too fast. She is enjoying her new friendships here at Gleanings, and she has learned to make quilts during her time serving in the quilt room, which is one of the ministries we have here. It is so special to know that other women who are here to serve God have invested in Eliana and taught her how to sew. Everyone loves Eliana. She is hilarious, and very talented. She has an innate sense of style and artistic talent.

Angelina is our little dancer. She loves to make new friends! She loves to laugh and run around with the other kids. A true extrovert. And our biggest eater! Where does all the food go??? Angelina received a special recognition this summer for being a good friend to others. It was a well-deserved recognition. We are happy to see that other people see the best in her, encourage her and love her. 


JL has lots of big kid teeth. He loves to play with Legos and Minecraft with his friends. His absolute favorite thing to do is wrestle with Daddy.

RoRo is our artist and she is also our introvert! She is enjoying gymnastics classes and reading books.

Little P is 100 percent extrovert. She loves to play with her friends, play dolls, and draw pictures of princesses.

 

 

 


Thank you so much for your love and support! I will be writing more on the blog in the next few weeks, so please keep in touch! I will be sharing the reasons why I took a break from the blog for two years–the real reasons–and more lessons that God has been teaching me as I’ve been listening and learning from him.

Lots of Love and Hugs,

Chelsea

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Becoming Missionaries: Two Unexpected Temptations of Missionary Life

Two half-truths are going through my mind right away as we are becoming missionaries…

# 1  S P E N D  L E S S

# 2  D O  M O R E

***

#1  S P E N D  L E S S

The first time I walked through Target with only donations from our supporters sitting in our bank account, it was a whole new experience. I went to the clearance rack to get an alarm clock for my daughter. There was a pretty gold-colored alarm clock one on sale for $6.98.

Here is what went through my head: “If someone sees me with this clock in my shopping cart, they will think, ‘This is where her support money is going to??’ Because they won’t know that my daughter needs it and that it’s on sale for $6.98. They will think I’m just on a shopping spree at Target with our support money.”

$6.98 … Still too expensive.

I didn’t really need it. I could walk in her room and wake her up myself. So I took it out of my cart.

It was a big deal to me to purchase anything I didn’t really need with the Lord’s money.

 

“Did you not tell them that they were the Lord’s chips?” –Senor Ramon, Nacho Libre

 

Isn’t all of our paycheck the Lord’s money? Wasn’t Andy’s youth pastor paycheck just as much the Lord’s money before we became missionaries?

Somehow I felt entitled to spend our money before. But now I feel this whole new responsibility for every penny spent.

Why is this income different? Because it is gifted from my friends and family. Their hard-earned money was gifted to our mission at Gleanings for the Hungry, so we can help feed the hungry! Not so I can go on my usual Target run!

Only the essentials are important enough to go in the shopping cart … right? This is what goes through the head of a new missionary.

I desperately want to use our money wisely. I see this as a very positive change in my mindset, once I get a good balance in my heart and mind about what is necessary to buy.

In addition to this positive change, I also notice a great guilt whenever I spend any money at all.

For example, our daughter’s birthday. Whoo hoo!

But … should I spend money on a party? Should I buy her just a few small gifts? What do missionaries do for their kids’ birthdays?

You didn’t earn that, Chelsea. You don’t need that. Your daughter doesn’t need that.

And I have to discern where this guilt is coming from. Does God want to show me that I need more discernment with money? Or is the life of a missionary really just a strange thing that I have to get used to? Or do I really need to do everything I can to earn my sense of “I served the Lord and I earned this support money?”

Will I be living in a constant state of guilt for everything I buy? Should I really not be buying anything other than missionary essentials?

 

“These are my recreation clothes.”

“They look expensive.”

“Thank you.” —Nacho Libre

 

Should I be making clothes for my family in the sewing room instead of buying clothes? Should we only wear donated hats and shoes?

The thing is — there is nothing wrong with using all donated or homemade items. People all over the world do that.

What do you think the Lord is trying to teach me?

 

“Beneath the clothes, we find a man … and beneath the man, we find his … nucleus.” —Nacho Libre

 

# 2  D O  M O R E

Another thing I keep hearing in my own head is, “You aren’t doing enough,” and, “Other people think you aren’t doing enough.”

I am here at Gleanings and I am doing the same thing that I was doing at home in Burbank: homeschooling and raising my kids, and serving in small ways in the ministry here. Maybe that’s not enough?

I should be pulling my weight contributing more to the community. I should add more to my schedule. I should should should.

Listening to all the shoulds is emotionally exhausting. And I think emotional exhaustion is a sign that these “shoulds” are not from the Lord.

 

C O N C L U S I O N S . . .

I wonder if other missionaries hear a lot of shoulds?

I wonder if other missionaries feel like they aren’t doing enough? Because, really, who is the judge of that?

I wonder if other missionaries tend to abstain from all kinds of luxuries in an attempt to be righteous enough to deserve the support money they have raised?

Really, if I make any decision at all based on support or money, am I not worshipping money?

If I add more to my schedule to try to impress or please someone else other than the Lord, am I not trying to please man instead of pleasing God?

 

“Those eggs were a lie, Esqueleto! A LIE! They give me no eagle powers! They give me no nutrients!” —Nacho Libre

 

What will please the Lord? That’s all that matters.

How I spend my money will not stop the money from coming in. The Lord determines what money comes in for our family. We will always have what we need. That is the Lord’s promise. And that has been my prayer since the beginning of this adventure at Gleanings for the Hungry: Give us this day our daily bread.

How much I accomplish as a mom and a missionary cannot be measured by anyone but the Lord, just as the hairs on my head cannot be counted by anyone but him.

Thank you for letting me share this with you. What are your thoughts? Please share your insights!

Find out more about our family’s choice to move to Gleanings for the Hungry here: andyrotunno.com 

xo,

Chelsea

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2 Chicken Soup Toppings That Will Change Your Life

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Have you been eating lots of chicken soup on these rainy January days? I have! I am a big soup person. I just love homemade soup. The recipe I use is the basic Chicken Noodle Soup recipe from the big red and white checkered Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. I have the recipe memorized.

For awhile my kids would say, “We are having chicken noodle soup again?” because I make a really big pot with a double recipe so it will last for a few meals. But now, with these toppings, my kids don’t complain about eating more soup.

Our Latvian friends over at Gleanings for the Hungry introduced us to the most AMAZING combination of ingredients that you can put on top of almost any soup.

It’s so simple, but so delicious. My kids don’t get excited about having soup until I mention that I have . . .

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L E M O N

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and  S O U R  C R E A M !

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Suddenly, everyone wants to eat chicken soup!

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I just realized that my pic shows the lemon in the soup, but you will want to squeeze the lemon juice in your soup. Just in case you needed me to clarify that.

One more topping we learned from our friend is chopped black olives. You like black olives? Put some on top of your lemon and sour cream.

What is your favorite soup to eat on these beautiful rainy days? Do you already put lemon and sour cream on your soup or do you put another topping that I need to know about? Please share!

P.S. I haven’t announced this yet on the blog, but we are moving to Gleanings for the Hungry in a few weeks! You can find out more about our decision to become full-time missionaries with this amazing organization here.

I hope you enjoy some nice hot soup with your loved ones soon. And let me know what you think of the lemon and sour cream.

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