Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It is all part of the adventure!

“It is all part of the adventure!”

About a year ago, a good teacher friend (who I worked with at Swift Creek Elementary) encouraged me with this phrase.

“It is all part of the adventure!”

I will never forget these 7 words . I have thought about these words so many times and often spoken them to myself in the midst of hard situations. When things are not going my way, when my plans have totally turned and taken a nose dive, when I am really disappointed, pushed out of my comfort zone a little TOO far, or I am faced with challenges and hard truths --- I encourage myself to remember that, “it is all part of the adventure!” On this journey with God- the good, the bad, the beauty, the wonder, the ugly…every part is valuable and teaches you SO much!

I just arrived back in Brazil and actually was reflecting and writing this during one of my many layovers. Due to many various situations (some expected and many more unexpected) my travel time back to Brazil lasted MUCH longer than I anticipated. I was traveling for about 45 hours total!

“It’s all part of the adventure!”

Coming to Brazil this time already feels SO different. As soon as I arrived, I was understanding conversations in Portuguese, I know more of what to expect because I am more familiar with the culture and country, I know how to communicate better therefore I am capable of taking care of myself much better, I can solve my own problems better, and I even know how to get money out of an ATM all by myself. Last year when I arrived I could not do any of these things and I felt like a small child in a grown up body. I wanted to be independent, yet was unable and through that God taught me lots. Humility and dependence on the Lord… and this lesson always continues as I am living beyond borders, here in Brazil.

"It is all part of the adventure!"

Knowing Jesus… Through my life here in Brazil, through going to live and work in a slum with children and families living in poverty, through following Jesus as He goes to the hurting and needy ones... I am learning… I am learning WHO Jesus is.

There is a song that I love (written by Jonathan Helser) and the lyrics of the chorus are:
“Most of all, I want the likeness of Jesus.”

That is my heart’s cry. As I am on this adventure with Him, may He teach me HIS heart and transform me to be more and more like Him.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A New Year's Blessing!

Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort

at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships

So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger

At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,

So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears

To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,

So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and

To turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness

To believe that you can make a difference in the world

So that you can do what others claim cannot be done

To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.