Last week & this, I kind of wanted to run away and hide under a rock. I did… sort of… but I’m coming back out.
As a rule I try to keep posts up-beat & positive; firstly because the good far outweighs the bad: Who could complain about spending a year in France, right? Particularly at this time of year… what Canadian would complain about not having to deal with snowstorms, shovels & salt?
Secondly I try to “accentuate the positive” because that’s what pastors, missionaries and leaders do: We cover up any cracks in the foundation because we’re supposed to be leading the charge & motivating others.
Since we don’t always have the ear of our supporters, on those days when we do… we highlight the good things. Foolishly, we suppose that if they see “signs of weakness”… they may wonder if we’re still fit to serve.
*Newsflash realization* (to myself as much as to anyone) …there’s this thing called life, and strangely enough it happens on the mission field as well.
- A roof repair we’ve been waiting on since Nov. was postponed again this week, twice in fact, due to weather. (3rd & 4th postponement since Nov.)
- We spent 10 hours over three days preparing no less than 30 papers for our French driver’s licenses. (so. completely. NUTS.)
- We’ve relied on people who didn’t show up and dealt with disappointment.
- We’ve dealt with an issue an ocean away.
- We wonder about the future and don’t have all the answers.
- The five of us are together nearly 24-7… even with very little time as a couple, apart from the kids, to discuss some of the above. (For a closet introvert like me… that can be draining.)
… the list goes on.
Really & truly… what we’ve encountered is no different than what you may have faced this week…
- Things have hit us that are out of our control or foresight.
- Certain things just “are” as a result of choices that we’ve made for life & ministry.
- Some things are spiritual… (it is, after all, a month of prayer & fasting here.)
Fortunately… All of them are “for a time”.
Oh don’t get me wrong… there have been highlights as well.
- Pausing for a moment to photograph the heavy frost on a daisy in the lawn (above).
- Collecting a few eggs. (Apparently our hens are satisfied that the thick of winter is past & they’re laying the odd egg – they’re Dutch Bantams so they lay small eggs… I jokingly say that, with three eggs, we’re up to 3/4 of an omelet!)
- An unexpected visit from our New Zealand friends for tea & a game of turkey-foot for the kids.
- We finally got fire extinguishers installed in our church building… one less hurdle in dealings with city hall.
- I was able to help Soph with an algebra question the likes of which I haven’t seen in 30 years… and we got it right!
- Time in the Lord’s presence.
- Knowledge that we are in His will and that He is faithful… ultimately, we’re in good hands and in a good place.
I’m reminded of the words of an old chorus:
Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand.
But I know who holds tomorrow and I know He holds my hand.
I’m glad that in the midst of short-term frustration and second guessing… I need not borrow trouble from tomorrow (although I often do – “Thanks, human nature!”). I can come into the Lord’s presence… and walk away lighter.
Is this OK?
January has possibly been our most challenging month here (although Liz would likely say that of August). Is it OK to be this honest?
All that being said… there’s no place we’d rather be!
Let what you read inform your prayers for us.
God bless your day today!