I’m currently reading the book of Nehemiah & I was encouraged this morning when I read about Nehemiah’s reaction to his enemies (Sanballat & Tobia) when they severaly opposed Nehemiah & the Jews. Instead of quitting, Nehemiah split up the people & let half of them keeping working to repair the wall & posted the other half to protect those who were working on the wall. By splitting up his work force into 2 groups, he probably lengthened the time it took to finish the project, but my point is that he didn’t quit. They kept working, even though their progress slowed down, but they didn’t quit.
What an amazing spectrum of experiences today. I’ve finished this day at our present nightcare facility, playing with one of our toddlers before he went to bed & enjoying our warm, safe & healthy haven for the babies of prostitutes while their moms work. Shortly before this wonderfully satisfying joy (we’ve been running for more than a year & have really acquired the trust of these moms to look after their babies), we negotiated the rent on a new nightcare facility in a new neighborhood & this is also super exciting!! We hope to be up & running there in about 2-3months 🙂
But here’s my struggle as I finish this day – we visited two brand new areas that desperately need nightcare & one of the areas we visited was really overwhelming for me. Even though we were there in the daytime, it was indescribably dark & felt very actively evil – the last face I saw before I left this area was a baby & if the truth be known, I’m having a rough time with all of this &I can’t seem to find words to go along with my feelings.
So friends, thank you SO MUCH for taking some time to read this & for being interested. I’m celebrating our successes & achievements while absorbing the opportunities that lie in front of us as well. Perhaps there is no one that is more “least of these” than the babies of prostitutes.
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 🙂
Earlier this year, I began to write my first Saving Moses book. When I’ve written books in the past, I’ve found it to be most helpful to take several days by myself and to totally submerge myself into the writing and then come up for air three or four days later. It sounds intense and it is 🙂
With my Saving Moses book, however, I’ve been trying a different approach. Throughout the first few months of this year, I would take one day a week and devote it to writing about my journey along the incredible adventure of growing with Saving Moses. Truthfully, the one day a week approach isn’t as efficient for me as the totally submersion technique, but at this time in my life, this is how I can make some incremental progress and that’s ok 🙂
The glitch came in April when I had to take a pause for various reasons. I knew that this pause would be for a few months, but now finally today, I get to pick up where I left off with my writing. So here’s my point – just because you have a pause on a goal doesn’t mean that you have to give up and quit. Sometimes a pause can give you some time for reflection, course correction, better focus and greater effectiveness. Don’t quit!
I’m presently in the middle of another painting project & we’ve just finished the first coat of paint. My kids are helping me with these projects & we are eager to have our painting adventure over. Of course we’re excited to see the outcome & to see if it will look as cool as we hope. But there’s a bit of a hitch on our anticipation. I’ve noticed that because we’d like to be finished with the Summer’s painting adventure, we are kind of rushing our efforts. So far, my take away is that painting & rushing shouldn’t be used in any combination – carpet problems, baseboard problems, angst, relational stress, etc.
As I was carefully trying to edge the ceiling, I felt like God was showing me that often times the best results require patience, being steady & attentive. I want these words, patient, steady & attentive, to be an accurate description of my walk with God. Indeed, those of us who endeavor to follow Jesus must let these words shape our decisions, values & desires in our lives. As Nietzche says, “, . . . a long slow obedience in the same direction.” 🙂
At the beginning of Feb, I slipped on the snow as I was walking home from my neighbor’s house & I banged up my ankle really bad. I don’t consider myself to be very wimpy but I knew that I had hurt myself pretty bad – like having to crawl instead of walking bad. After xrays, the Dr said it was just a bad sprain & that it would take time to heal. When she said “time”, my mind translated this to mean a few days or maybe 2 weeks, because that’s a LONG time! Now that we’re almost 2 MONTHS later, I’m still having some challenges.
But here’s the good news & this is where I want to encourage you: even though I didn’t go very far nor fast, I ran outside yesterday & my ankle did pretty well. Afterwards, I was talking w a friend & we encouraged each other that a little bit is better than nothing. This idea about “a little bit” has huge value in LOTS of areas of our lives:
a little bit of forgiveness is moving in the right direction
a little bit of patience can be more constructive than impatience
a little bit of exercise can help to set us up to do a little more
a little bit of genuine love has immeasurable power to transform
When we start with nothing, a little bit can help us to get moving in the right direction 🙂
YAHOOOOO!!!!! I’m totally excited about the progress we’ve made today w nightcare – like I’m more than giddy!! More than a year ago, I felt like God dropped the idea of nightcare into my heart & I’ve had a few challenges to see this idea turn into a reality. But today has been nothing short of amazing!!! I’m presently in Cambodia & it looks like we can have our 1st nightcare program up & running in a little more than a month!! Today, I toured a few facilities, spoke w some very strategic people who are keen to see nightcare become operational & I’m experiencing tremendous favor!
Thank you again & again for praying for Saving Moses. God is doing some thoroughly amazing & miraculous things. I’m completely in awe of His wisdom & work
There are times & seasons in our lives that are all about doing the daily routines, maintaining healthy habits & disciplines as well staying consistent w schedules, etc. there are other times when I can feel excitement in my bones & this is one of those seasons.
I’m excited because I feel like we are beginning to turn the corner with making some significant progress w Saving Moses. We are beginning to see some fantastic opportunities & doors opening for getting to help small people 5 & younger. To be specific, our nightcare program is on the cusp of getting launched & implemented. We are also looking at expanding our malnutrition feeding program in Africa along w a few other cool things on the horizon.
This is all to encourage you that sometimes what may seem mundane & boring are essential ingredients that often need to be stable before some exciting opportunities get to be revealed. Be encouraged my friend! God has good things around the corner!
As we finish up 2011, many of us will take a few minutes to reflect on the events of this year & possibly consider some plans / thoughts for 2012. Sometimes its easy to get stuck on the past, but something that helps me to keep moving forward is to be thankful – thankful for the events that have helped me grow, thankful for the relationships that have encouraged me to love more genuinely, thankful for the achievements that couldn’t have happened without God’s help & more!
Another thing that helps me to grow is to not always think of the massive projects that I want to accomplish, but to rather think of things in smaller sizes. I most certainly have REALLY BIG DREAMS in my heart & if I’m not careful, the size of these dreams can be overwhelming. But when I consider these dreams on a day-by-day basis, making little steps toward these dreams on a daily basis, they’re not so overpowering. Indeed, perhaps the journey is equally as important to God as the destination. Happy New Year!!