Are you looking for peace in the midst of the hustle and bustle? Are you looking for peace in the midst of chaos? These slogans are all too familiar this time of year for different advertising companies as they push their sleep meds or new soft mattresses and the like.
I sit in a home that is quite dirty, compared to my usual attention to it's cleanliness. A home with lots of clutter due to gifts that need to be wrapped, pine needles that have fallen from the tree and many new wonderful Christmas cards we've recently received in the mail. All blessings, for sure! Even a home is a blessing, I know!
But this time of year has been especially chaotic for me. We are in the midst of paper chasing for our adoption and fundraising. Visiting Orphans is being so wonderfully blessed with new partnerships, with has brought changes and additions to our staff. I am also sending out three teams to Africa right after Christmas, the largest team of 25, I'm personally leading and will be gone for 14 days with them. Honestly, Christmas has become more of a duty and obligation lately than a joy to me. I can't imagine I'm the only one who has felt like this.
I am reminded of a wonderful saying that my good friend, Bethany Haley, just tweeted, "Should we learn to live more simply so that others can simply live?" My husband and i recently purchased new Android phones from Verizon. I resisted this for months...finally, with the trip for Uganda coming up, and my old blackberry acting up for the 10th time, we decided to "upgrade". So, I now have this fancy phone that vibrates when you touch it and can do more than I think my computer at work can do. I had this overwhelming feeling. But it was more like a resentment towards it.
I'm not that old. I'm not that young either. So I remember life before cell phones existed. And even a little bit before cable was in everyone's homes. There was so much more time to read, use your imagination and spend face to face, quality time with friends. And the best of it...there was QUIET time. If you had to drive from one place to another and you were alone, you could turn down the radio and just be quiet and reflect. I remember when I used to have to fight rush hour traffic in and out of Atlanta for work each day. I used to call that time "my church". I would listen to worship and sermons and just praise and worship God and just be quiet in prayer and reflection before Him.
There's such little time for this now. And it worries me. I was sick this past weekend. I will spare you the details. :) Sometimes I really love being sick. I honestly feel like God allows the flu and small illnesses to get us to be still. What I hate is that it may take that to make us stop doing so much, ignoring Him, the one we are living for.
Today, I had the day off. I had much "to do". Stocking stuffers to buy, cleaning the house and making up the beds for the guests, running to the bank, coffee with a wonderful friend, and even plans to get a massage. However, every time I tried to leave the home, I had this pull in my soul and spirit to just stay home. To be still. To spend an entire day with the man I love the most....Jesus Christ. I was softly reminded of Isa 48:17-18 and Isa 30: 15-18 and many others..
So, I changed back into my sweats, fixed my favorite cup of coffee and went to my favorite chair next to the fireplace, in the warm sunlight. I have exchanged busyness today for what is best, the richness of time in fellowship with my Heavenly Father and Bridegroom. It's out of this relationship that ministry is birthed anyway. Without Him we are truly nothing and have nothing to give.
Isn't this what Christmas is about anyway? Jesus Christ? I submit that maybe the best gift to give Him this year for his birthday is a relationship with Him. Not a decision, not just an act of faith, but an active and walking relationship with Him. I bet He would love to spend an entire day with each of you. Let's remember, that Jesus is the one who deserves a gift more than anyone else. Give Him your time, adoration and self this year. It's truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Follow along as I take this mission seriously and minister to the orphans in this world.
Visiting Orphans...It pretty much speaks for itself. Our lives are made to give away to others and I love it that helping orphans is pure and undefiled religion! Follow along as I take God seriously about this mission and minister to the orphans in this world. He is constantly at work in our lives..we just sometimes have to shift our perspective to notice Him. I pray you will hopefully see Him in the words and pictures below..through my perspective.
This blogpage follows the mission trips I lead to minister to orphans in this world. I am the Executive Director of a mission sending agency called Visiting Orphans. (www.visitingorphans.org) I believe my mission in life is similar to the President of Compassion International, Dr. Wes Stafford. In his book, "Too Small to Ignore" he says, "On one side of this international bridge, my role is to minister to the poor, to the orphans, to "comfort the afflicted." And then I cross the bridge, coming back to the Western, more affluent world, where my job is to speak and write and to "affict the comfortable" to call them to action." Loving people on both sides of the spectrum...
I pray that something in my words or pictures will inspire you to reach out beyond yourself...to GO and help the "least of these".