I like to accomplish things & can sometimes get discouraged when it seems like I just slough along seeming not to get anywhere. I’ve had some really big projects on my plate for several months & I finally seem to be making progress & this is WONDERFUL!! Nevertheless, I’m learning some important lessons for “in between” trying & achieving:
*persistence & patience – nothing worthwhile is achieved without these important pieces
*stay encouraged – this is no one else’s responsibility but mine
*teams are important – I can achieve WAY MORE on a team than by myself
*keep your eyes on Jesus – a great immunization for distractions & discouragement 🙂
Recently, I read the story about David killing Goliath – it’s always inspiring & encouraging! As I read the story leading up to Goliath’s death, David recounted how he had fought off a lion & a bear to protect the sheep under his care. David used this memory to encourage Saul that with God’s help, David could overcome Goliath. Futhermore, when David confronted Goliath, he boasted that he would use Goliath’s own sword to cut off Goliath’s head, which is exactly what happened. Later in David’s life, David again acquired Goliath’s sword from a helpful priest for his own weapon as he was running away from Saul to save his life. Goliath’s sword was a turning point for David’s life – shifting away from sheep & moving toward kingship.
In our lives, there are turning points, like Goliath’s sword. God uses unique things & experiences in our lives for both victories & encouragment at very strategic times, particularly for me with Saving Moses. We can trust God to direct our steps and give us the resources necessary for each step 🙂
Well friends, I’m back from Angola with Saving Moses & life continues to maintain its seemingly hectic pace. Do you ever feel like there’s more work than time or energy? It seems to me that often when I return from int’l trips that I have lots to catch up on & this return home seems no different than any others: using a snorkle to keep swimming until I can come up for air. But here’s something that is really encouraging to me today as I try to catch up from last week’s travels: keeping my focus on Jesus helps me to not get overwhelmed with all of the things I need to get done.
As I was praying this morning, I just was encouraged to remember that Jesus already knew about everything that I need to get done with the limited quantity of time that I have. With this in mind, I receive great strength knowing that if I keep my eyes on Jesus, He will help me. It’s when I get my focus off of Jesus & onto the Mount Everest size work in front of me when I seem to get discouraged. So, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus & keep swimming ,)
I was reading this morning about how Joseph was unfairly accused of trying to sleep w Potiphar’s wife & how Joseph was thrown into jail because of the wife’s fiasco. At some point, sitting in jail, Joseph could have easily said, “What’s the point? I should’ve slept with the chick. Jail isn’t worth it.”
At various times, we all feel like quitting & throwing in the towel. Maybe we quietly say to ourselves, “what’s the point?”
Here are some good things to consider when you’re asking yourself about what’s the point:
*God doesn’t say to us, “well done my good & quitting servant”
*strength, character & integrity grow in the furnace of hardship, struggle & opposition
*good results & desirable fruit come from persistence & not giving up
I like what St Francis of Assisi said, “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
I’ve been watching the news & updates on the horrible weather on the East Coast & I’m really praying for everyone who is enduring this catastrophe. As I was thinking about this, I remembered a storm that Paul endured in Acts 27 & this was a storm of massive proportions: lasted 14 days, they couldn’t tell night from day, they threw over the boat all of their cargo & tackle gear, along with not eating for several days. For all practical purposes, everyone on the boat had given up hope for staying alive, except for Paul. Here were a few things Paul did in the middle of this awful storm:
*he stayed practical, advising everyone to eat some food to keep up their strength
*he kept his confidence & focus on Jesus more than anything else
*he encouraged the people in the boat with him, giving them hope that things would get better
Paul is a good role model for us when we go through storms!
My dad died over this past weekend and it’s been an interesting journey over the last few days with lots of emotions, kind & gentle people along with some rough spots. If you’ve lost someone who is close to you, or have a friend in this situation, here are a few things that have been helpful to me so far:
- be gentle with yourself and others: losing someone who is important in your life is hard so being tender and gentle is a necessary counter-point for this hardness
- grief is illogical & doesn’t need to be justified: the “why” questions and appropriate answers don’t help, at least not for me up to this point
- time versus busy: some people need activity and to be occupied with doing things while others need some space, but too much time or activity can lead to some bad results
- presence: what I’ve found helpful is together-ness, someone being present (but not necessarily chatty – smile)
- encouragement: let everyone’s encouragement, kind words and supportive efforts come into your heart;
- God: involve God at all levels; grief and death are not the times to pull away from God
Are there more things that you’ve found helpful? I’d be keen for your input
I had an interesting conversation with a friend yesterday for whom I’ve been very concerned of late. It was interesting because they explained that they had been distant lately because of lots of different current stresses in their life. Then another friend told me that she was having a rough day earlier this week & almost broke down in tears on a particular day. Both of my friends are important to me & when they explained their struggles to me, I totally wanted to reach out & help not only after the struggle but also during their rough time. Just like me, these are very strong & independent friends & I wholly respect their strength. It’s interesting bc I think that God absolutely respects our free will & independence. But I also think that God wants to be involved in our struggles & not just watch from a distance. Lets be kind, gentle, full of grace & supportive with each other – thereby letting God love through us 🙂
I had a really nice chat with some friends this morning over breakfast & we were talking about how our moms are totally for us & want us to succeed & do well. It was a fun to think & talk about that in both the roles of being a mom & being a daughter. This has started me to think about how much God is for us.
- God is for you when it seems like no one else is for you
- God is for you when it seems like everything else is against you
- God is for you when you can’t encourage yourself
- God is for you all the way through His death & resurrection
- God is for you when everything is still & quiet
- God is for you in the racket, noise & bustle of life
- God is for you when you’re on vacation & just relaxing
- God is for you when you make a mistake or when you have an outrageous success
- God is for you when you get tired of your own self
- God is for you when you’re happy or sad
God is for you!!
Well today has been quite amazing. We made a 2 hour drive to a malnutrition clinic in Cubal Angola & I have to say that Cubal is has a very unique place in my heart for lots of different reasons. I love getting to see the babies who are here, but I hate seeing them suffer or go through hardship. I love getting to meet the moms & grandmoms of these babies, but I hate hearing their heartbreaking stories of babies that they’ve lost. I love getting to catch up w key staff members here but I hate watching them struggle to be effective w limited or non-existent resources. Cubal can be beautiful & tender or ugly & abrasive. Cubal is where we thought we rescued Angelina w a life-saving blood donation, only to hear that she died a few short hours after the blood donation. Cubal is where we ran out to buy formula last year when we discovered that they had run out of this essential food for a malnutrition clinic. So coming to Cubal has been a love / hate experience for me.
Today, it is only love & here’s why:
*I met babies who have been consistently receiving malnutrition formula over their 2 week stay & they’ve added more than 2kilos to their weight – super excellent weight gain for a malnourished baby!!!!
*i checked on our therapeutic milk supply & it looks good that we can continue to feed these babies for a few more months
*I interviewed a grandmom today who was nothing less than riveting because of her love – more to follow on her
*I got to say hello to my nun friends & talk about Jesus, prayer & John 15, abiding in the Vine & bearing fruit.
So I have to say that even though Mothers Day was last Sunday, I feel like a fulfilled mom today for Saving Moses. It does my heart well to see, hold, hear & experience success in Cubal 🙂
With God, all things are possible!!
Here are a few thoughts that I really hope will be helpful & encouraging:
If you’re going through:
- a season of lack – be sure to be open to the variety of ways that Jesus provides in our lives (time, wisdom, creative ideas, unexpected supply, etc)
- loneliness – don’t underestimate the continually abiding presence of Jesus with you in every moment & situation
- a time of confusion – listen for the Holy Spirit to lead you into truth & consider reading the verses about Who the Holy Spirit is in John 14
- some heightened insecurity – you are nothing less than wholly & genuinely loved by your Creator, Who finds you to be nothing less than tantalizing & delightful
- failure – celebrate because you’ve crossed off an option that doesn’t lead to success!
- frustration – sometimes the best reward to frustration is the strength that only comes through endurance
I hope you’re well encouraged today!! 😀