When I was growing up, we used the Big Chief red note pads to learn how to write. I still remember that dingy paper & the giant lines in which I was supposed to keep my writing (good luck). When I started using the regular white lined paper, I remember thinking that it seemed like they wasted alot of space on the sides because the Big Chief paper didn’t have the red line on the left – margin. As I continued to refine my writing skills, I started writing smaller & smaller so that I could get more stuff on the page – at one point, my teacher probably needed a microscope to read my writing.
So here are some thoughts on space & time:
- margins create clarity – when we try to squeeze everything into a small space or time, everything can get blurry and confusing really fast
- while we are designed to be productive and to achieve things, it’s important to maintain balance between workload and breathing room
- rest and escape aren’t the same thing
- rest can be a form of trusting God 🙂
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 ,)
There are lots of things that I want. I want to: be effective with saving moses, be smart, be healthy, to know God, be a good mom, be a good wife, be strong & compassionate, . . . . . I want alot of things & here’s an important secret to getting what we want: In order to get what we want, we will often need to do what we don’t always like.
I’m reminded of this principle today as I was reading an organizational structure & business book. As I was reading the book, I found myself thinking, “This is why I didn’t major in business at school.” Neverthless, to help saving Moses be all that God has designed it to be, I have to grow in some areas that don’t really excite me. In order to be a good mom, I have to continually improve my communication skills, especially with listening. In order to be a good wife, I need to get better at home improvement projects both big & little. I genuinely believe that God has designed us to some really cool stuff & it seems to me that seeing these cool things become a reality will require our cooperation, even when we may not like the process 🙂
I live in Denver and we’re having a really lovely snowstorm – it’s beautiful, quiet and abundant! My kids have been playing in it for most of the day because school was closed due to the snow. I was driving around in it a bit earlier and I’ve noticed a few things that can be helpful not only w a snowstorm but also with life:
- clothing is like our attitudes: the right attitude can turn many hardships into some great potential fun
- together is better than alone: playing in the snow is much better with a friend than alone and the same is true for hardships
- time changes things: in the Summer its hard to imagine snow and in the Winter it’s hard to imagine 90 degree heat, but its only a matter of time until things change
- teamwork can clear off alot of driveways, or so they say ,)
Ok, right off the bat, please forgive me for not blogging since I’ve returned from Angola. And here’s the honest truth: when I come back from these trips where I connect with moms, infants, healthcare workers, etc who live on the frontlines of infant mortality everyday, coming home can sometimes be complicated. This return, especially compared to last year, is less difficult emotionally for me, but is more physically difficult. Please don’t interpret my thoughts here to be complaints because I’m deeply thankful to God for this absolutely magnificent honor of getting to love “the least of these”. Nevertheless, my body is pretty worn down so I’ve been endeavoring to maintain my essential priorities that of course include nurturing healthy relationships with my family.
With all of that being said, let me also include that I had one of the richest times of the year with God yesterday morning – waking at 3am due to the time change. We had some delicious fellowship meandering through Acts 3, when the beggar was healed at the temple.
I’ll get back into the blogging routine here & shortly we’ll be putting up some great pix from our Angola @savingmoses trip 🙂
We often associate growing pains with childhood – when our joints were sore as kids or teenagers for some unknown reason. We might have been growing too fast for our bodies to adjust without some aches & pains. I think this is also true as an adult but in different ways.
Let me give you a few examples:
- being less selfish is often a painful decision, but it is one that frequently reflects a level of growth & maturity as an adult
- being more selective about when & how we communicate shows that we are making progress from “blurting out” whatever could be flying through our mind; this is a noble goal, but it can require painful discipline to shut our mouth when we have something really “zingy” to say
- doing what’s helpful, constructive or even sacrificial when we don’t want to; I surrender “getting my way” for something I consider to be more important – for me this relates to letting Jesus use my life as a platform to express His will (hopefully, with minimal distortion)
- getting good at something I’m not good at; there are lots of schools of thought on this idea: stay in your sweet spot, do what you’re good at, maximize your talents & minimize your liabilities, etc. But in my life so far, I find that I don’t get the luxury to do only what I’m good at – I’m required to LOTS of different things, many of which I’m not good at. So here’s my choice: do the things I’m bad at with ongoing sloppiness, using the excuse that I’m just not designed that way OR do the things I’m bad at with the intent that I’m going to try to get better at them each time I have to do these things.
Maturity requires growth & growing can be painful. But I’d hate to become increasingly older & remain as immature as I am now 🙂
It’s easier to make money than time – indeed, one could argue that we can’t make time. So how we use the time that we have can be a direct reflection of our values & priorities. We all spend time doing the normal things of life: school / work, family interactions & investments, friendships, working out, reading, etc. Some of the things in our life are mandatory time demands & other things are discretionary time demands.
In relation to the discretionary time demands, I’ve watched many families over the years fill up their time with sports, activities, etc & every so often, they seem a little frazzled. Now please don’t jump to the conclusion that I’m opposed to sports, activities etc. We have our kids in several different things over the course of a given year. But I think we have to be careful to make decisions with our time that reflect our values & priorities. For example, my husband & I don’t see our oldest son being an NFL recruited football player. As such, we have him in flag football over this Summer, but its primarily for the purpose of getting him some exercise & increasing his sports exposure. My point is that its important for each of us to use our time as a reflection of our priorities & not allow it to be frittered away into oblivion.
I want to give my time to the most important priorities in my life & may God help me to make decisions with how I use my time in ways that are pleasing to Him.