We are well into April & I was thinking this morning about things I like & stuff for which I’m grateful. It’s important to be grateful because this is how we enter God’s presence, according to Ps 100:4. So let’s practice being thankful together 🙂
Here are some things for which I’m thankful:
active children, clean water, phenomenal friends, a supportive husband, a drivable car and more than anything, God’s love for me.
What is something good that has happened today?
Think of something nice someone has said to you in the last week
What is something better this year in comparison to last year?
What is something wonderfully unique about you – a talent or ability?
Let’s be grateful in April & not just at Thanksgiving 🙂
My daughter tells me that my Birkenstock sandals are back in style, to which I replied, “Never knew they went out of style.” The bigger question for me is that whole style & fashion topic, which feels like jumping in a swimming pool filled with boomslangs, vipers, piranhas, man of war jellyfish & a host of other deadly & creepy creatures. If I started to have any robust conversations about fashion & style, you’d be assured that it’s sanitarium time for me.
On the flip side, I have friends who are fashion / style divas & I think they’re awesome. Here’s why: everyone is fearfully & wonderfully made, unique in perspective & divinely crafted for their existence. Trying to make someone into who they’re not is offensive on human levels & insulting to our Divine Author.
Let’s live in the identity that God has given us & cheer for others who are walking out their divine DNA. Humans clone but God creates – maybe even a few shockers like flying cows & socks with Birkenstocks ,)
We had a trampoline when I was growing up & I really loved learning tricks to do on the tramp. The only exception was when I tried to learn a back flip & wound up unconscious on the ground. As a result, to this day I have this innate opposition to anything backwards (back flips on diving boards, backstroke, reverse driving, etc). But here’s an interesting thing that I’m pondering: I wonder if my reliance on the Holy Spirit isn’t stronger when I do things that don’t seem as easy or natural to me. It seems like when I find things to be easy, I tend to rely less on the Holy Spirit than when things are difficult. While this initially feels awkward & uncomfortable, I wonder if there’s not huge spiritual benefits to doing some things in a less easy or natural progression. Maybe the Holy Spirit leads us in ways, on occasion, that don’t seem as natural, convenient or easy as we’d like.
Being comfortable conjures up different things for different people. For some people, being comfortable can be the experience of sitting by a fireplace in a cozy blanket & reading a book. For other people, being comfortable is best described as being at a really fun and vibrant party. For me, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be comfortable and I’ve learned some interesting things to pass along to you:
being comfortable can sometimes be an impediment to a deeper relationship with God – discomfort usually makes me do something different
I never want my comfort zones to exclude God – indeed, life with God is a more accurate expression of who I really am
I’ve learned that I can be extremely comfortable in a variety of external situations because of an internal contentment that comes from some very sweet & rich communion with God
when I’m uncomfortable, I tend to lean into God better
When I was in high school, I used to like some of the Robbie Nevil songs that praised the glories of apathy & indifference (Wot’s It To Ya’, C’est La Vie). I think I liked these songs at the time because I didn’t know how to handle my deep feelings of care, concern and connection for people and the world around me. Sometimes I still feel this way & can get overwhelmed when I think about various situations, Saving Moses, people and events – I’m deeply concerned about what’s happening in Egypt with the instability there.
But just because my feelings can be overwhelming from these various situations, relationships and experiences, I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot become apathetic. In my mind, apathy is just a socially acceptable word for passive violence. So what do I do with these things that can easily overwhelm me? Pray.
Prayer is the best immunization against apathy. Pray often, pray quickly, pray fervently and pray all the time.
I’ve been thinking about some of the moms that I’ve met over the last few years in my travels with Saving Moses. In some ways they are 100% the same as us & in some ways they’re 100% different than us. They’re 100% the same in their love & passion for their kids – maybe even more pure in their love for their kids. What makes them different than us is that they don’t have have all of the “stuff” that we have. This has started me thinking about who I am if you strip away all of my education, stuff & sophisticated living. These are some questions worth consideration:
*Am I a nice person without all of the accessories that cushion my life?
*do I want to help people regardless of what I get in return?
*am I sincere & authentic?
*am I growing & letting God strengthen the weakspots that I avoid?
*does my education & sophistication enable me to help people more or do I use these only to my own advantage?
Just a few things running around in my head today 🙂
I was talking w a friend this morning about how she helped her daughter make a diarama (or however you spell it) for her class – sounded pretty cool. On a personal note, I’m “craft impaired.” Whenever I help my children with their school projects that require some craftsmanship – I literally cringe because even when I try to draw a stick figure, it’s generally pathetic. However, I did just renovate the header for this blog to raise the visibility for www.savingmoses.org
I’d encourage you to check out this website to see some really cool things that we are getting to do around the world! Happy Spring renovating 🙂
I was recently in Haiti for some work with www.savingmoses.org. It was deeply moving experience for me – even from the time I landed at the airport. You see, the airport at Port au Prince was damaged & so every passenger was led to a large warehouse to go through the immigration process. I was pleasantly surprised to be almost totally surrounded by missions groups who were coming to help Haiti in a variety of ways. Everyone was very friendly, chatty & I could tell they were eager to jump into doing some good, hands on missions work. I love to be with people when they’re hearts are intent on helping others – such a rich experience!
My return to the States was a bit of a contrast. As we entered the US, we were going through the normal immigration formalities & had collected our luggage to finish going through customs. There were some long lines & it seemed like one line was shorter than the rest, so we jumped in that line. Unfortunately, we cut in front of a group of people unknowingly. One of the girls in the group proceeded to say something really rude to us. I turned around to see what was wrong & realized what we’d done. When I asked her where she had been, she explained that they were returning from a missions trip to Haiti. I don’t think she caught the irony of the situation – she had gone to Haiti to be part of something altruistic, benevolent, unselfish & nice. Now that she was back to the US, she was in “normal-ville”. I’m left wondering how often we miss opportunities for God to transform us. Just something to consider
Today was an unbelievable experience, absolutely unreal. To begin, we visited a medical clinic where they immunize infants from like 5 different diseases (diptheria, etc). We met a woman who has a new born, about 6 weeks old whose husband died in the earthquake. She brought her daughter to the clinic bc she’s dehydrated & lethargic. When we talked w her, we discovered that she’s living in tent w her mom & no steady income. The clinic has a literacy program so she’s going to come back for more help.
After this we went to a tent city where there are hundreds if not thousands of families in temporary housing, displaced by the earthquake. We visited several families & Im still somewhat speechless. It was totally unbelievable – we met a single mom who’s daughter us 6 months old & the mom has no way to earn a living despite having some computer & hair styling skills. I also visited a tent that is the home for 8 kids & a mom & dad. When we stopped by the tent there 2 kids there under the age of 3 w no one else there – they were hiding under the bed. No one around them knew where the parents or other siblings were. We visited many more tents, but I left this experience & I can’t begin to describe my thoughts or feelings. It was unreal.
Tomorrow, we return home but I have a new passion w saving Moses. It is absolutely essential.
Wow, what an amazing day. We flew this morn to the northern part of Haiti & visited a medical clinic that was a really grassroots clinic. The care that the patients received was extremely diverse. We met a 3 year old girl who had fallen into a cooking pot & severely burned her arm. We also met Ricardo who is 2 & has typhus. He’s in a pretty bad state because the drs can’t figure out why he’s not getting better w treatment. He really got to my heart because he was whimpering & in great pain. His mom was undertandably stressed out.
We were also able to interview many pregnant moms, as this clinic is very intent to provide medical support to pregnant moms. One of the things on my heart is to help provide food to the anemic pregnant moms. Because of the work they do, this clinic is on the cutting edge of decreasing the infant mortality rate here in Haiti.
Below is a picture of Salvia’s mom – she’s blind in 1 eye, has 4 kids & brought Salvia to the clinic for care. Takes your breath away.
We have landed here in Port au Prince & it’s amazing to see the residual affects of the earthquake from earlier this year & to hear the stories. Haiti is the poorest nation in North America & possibly the Western Hemisphere. So to see the earthquake devestation in top of such massive poverty is pretty unsettling. Thankfully, the Haitian people are very resilient & it’s obvious that they are working hard to unbury themselves & move forward from the earthquake.
Today, we are flying to North Haiti to Cap Haitian to visit pregnant moms who are at risk. This reminds me of a woman I met at a trash dump in Cambodia – she had no option but to deliver her baby in the dump. Many of the women we will visit today have very simple but essential needs. I’ll keep you updated as we go – watch for Facebook & Twitter updates 🙂