Currently there are a group of bloggers in Ecuador on a trip organized by Compassion.The trip is for the bloggers to witness firsthand (and blog about) Compassion International’s ministry to children in the highlands near Quito and the Amazon basin. Ann Voskamp, a very gifted writer, whose blog I read is there, along with her husband The Farmer.
I’m not able to blog about this trip as I am away at a conference for a few days. However, if you’d like to follow along, then please go to Compassion’s Bloggers page to view the blog posts. You can also follow along at Twitter.
If you are not currently sponsoring a child through Compassion, please would you consider doing so. They do amazing work. Many children, who would otherwise not get an education, are benefitting from sponsorship, as are their family and the community in which they live.
Have you ever had the feeling like you have missed out on someone wonderful in your life and now it’s too late to experience that? Over the past three or four days I have realized that. I learned a lot in this past 72 hours or so about Sara, also known as Gitzen Girl. Sara is getting ready to go and be with Jesus. She has had Ankylosing Spondylitis for fourteen years and suffers with tremendous pain. Sara has been housebound in a her condo for at least three years. Imagine that? Never being able to leave your home, to feel the sun on your skin or the wind blow through your hair again. Yet, Sara has lived through this with dignity and much joy. In fact Choose Joy is her motto. She has this most amazing picture that she painted on her wall at home. In honor of her many of her friends are getting choose joy tattoos.
I haven’t been able to get Sara out of my mind since the beginning of this week and I am praying for her. Even though she never left her home, God gave her the beautiful gift of being able to bless people from it, and I believe she has been blessed so much through other people. Please keep Sara, her family and friends in your prayers.
In her blog posts she speaks of living in the now, embracing life and choosing joy. She is an encourager who chooses to see the positive in things. This is her definition of joy:
the unwavering trust that God knows what He’s doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it… not despite what’s happening in my life but because of it. When everything earthly feels heavy He gives me an internal lightness that can’t be touched.
I feel really challenged by Sara to live in the now and enjoy life today. At this time, I feel so much pressure in life, and I know that I have not been living joyfully for some time, due to circumstances. I need to choose joy.
I’ve read Sara’s posts on [In]Courage, but until this week had not visited her blog. I’m sad that I hadn’t. I’ve missed out on a precious gift. I thank God for Sara and pray that she will be at complete peace.
Alece posted a verse on her Twitter account yesterday for Sara, Zephaniah 3:17 “For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” This is one of my favourite bible verses. It speaks about an exuberant joy that God has for His children. He delights in us. The Hebrew word used is Yagil which means to spin around. I love that picture of God spinning around above us in joy.
Sara, I think God is spinning around above you in joy right now. Thank you for your example, for showing us how to live, even in the face of adversity.
I don’t usually post anything about food or recipes, but I’m making an exception today! I just had to share this! I came across this old Meatless Monday recipe for easy tomato soup and pita bread at The Kosher Foodies. On impulse I decided to make it for supper tonight and it turned out yummy!
We had spinach salad as a side so that we had some greens too! The spinach pictured is my sons. He doesn’t like dressing or anything “just the leaves Mom” he says!
I made the plain pitas and the grilled cheese ones. Both were really nice.
I’ve never made pitas before. They are actually quite easy to make and taste so much nicer than the store bought ones!
I’ve mentioned before that I am not always good at waiting. I get quite impatient and want things to hurry along in my time rather than in God’s time. Now, to be honest, reflecting on various things that have happened in my life, where I have simply had to play the waiting game, I would have thought that by now I would be a pro and trust in God’s timing. Not so. Not that I don’t trust in His timing, I do, it is perfect and good. However, I fail to remember that He really doesn’t need my help and pushing along “Gee, you know Lord, I really think it’s time, you need to get a hurry on here or its all going to collapse and fall flat”
God has gently bought up a few scenarios in the past few days that have made me realize that He is talking to me about waiting and being patient (once more!) It started with a feeling last weekend, a sweet whisper from God that made me see that now is the time to put everything down, to let go and wait, watch and see. To draw closer to His presence and to have a time of rest, reflection and restoration. I pondered these things and left them in my heart, unaware that my husband was feeling the same thoughts.
We took our kids and their friends to a water park near our home on Monday. When we arrived there was a long line up which came outside from the building and down the sidewalk. We were quite far back in the line when there was a power outage. Some people began to leave, they didn’t want to wait in the heat for the power to be restored. We decided we would give it twenty minutes and then head to the beach. The longer we waited the more people drifted away and left. Pretty soon we were inside the main building. At this point a lifeguard came out of the office and reported that the power company had said that the outage could be repaired in five minutes or it could be as long as five hours. At this announcement most of the people waiting decided to leave, so we found ourselves third or fourth in line. One minute later the power came back on, much to the squeals of four happy kids!
While the kids were swimming Jonathan told me that he thought God was talking to him about waiting through the power outage (as well as other things). When he finished telling me this I turned to read a page in my book that I had been trying to read for around ten minutes, but I kept getting interrupted. The book is Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkeurst. The next few paragraphs that I read were about David. Having been anointed as King of Israel, he was then sent back to the pastures to tend the sheep. He had to wait, it wasn’t time for him to take the throne. The waiting period was purposeful. David accepted his circumstances and didn’t resist where God had put him. He chose to see the good in waiting. These few paragraphs were really timely for me and on reflection I can see where waiting in my past has been purposeful and for my good.
Yesterday, Ann Voskamp wrote about a post called “Why is it Hard to be Patient?” Ann has a real gift with words, they always flow poetically off the page. In her post she talked about patience being a willingness to wait. That is it in a nutshell. Our impatience is a sign of our unwillingness to wait, to not have things on our terms and conditions.
Patience is waiting, it is a moment of surrender.
So, here I am trying to surrender and have patience. Meanwhile God is whispering into my ear “Wait, dear one, wait”.