Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What does it mean to serve?

Lately I have realized that after being overseas I don't have the energy to serve in ways I used to. In the ways that everyone sees at church or outside of it . Some examples of this type of serving are at the information desk, prayer team, teaching Sunday School or even just being a greeter at church.(Notice how I put just yeah simple things aren't simple for everyone!) At first this left me discouraged because there are always needs out there and we cannot meet them all. If one is met surely a new one will arise. While all of these are admirable, and good things to do, they are not for everyone.

For me, at least right now, God is teaching me that sometimes the best way to serve is just to show up to church and not to withdraw because I don't know a single song we are singing or am overwhelmed by the amount of people I don't know around me, taking the time to go to lunch with someone who just might turn out to be a new friend, offering the seat next to me instead of having five empty ones in between, not making myself so busy that I don't have time for myself or others, or even just being diligent in my school work.

In Matthew 18:3-5 it reads "And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me."

Right now I am a child in a familiar unfamiliar world but that doesn't stop me from trusting and believing in his power. I might not always feel like I have a place but He has one for me and a plan for my life. I encourage you to serve those around you in whatever way you feel called. Remember just because not everyone sees it doesn't mean it isn't or didn't happen.

You know the best way people have ever served me is by just offering for me to sit next to them whether in a pew or classroom. Just a reminder to not get discouraged because God meets us at whatever season we are in life. In Laos serving was often my time spent waiting around and lending a listening ear. Here those don't fit cultural norms as well, but that doesn't mean they were wrong just different for a different place and season. How will you welcome that child around you? How do you feel most welcome?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Caught between worlds

As you probably have figured out by now I am back in Arkansas for awhile. I miss Laos a lot but know that God has a time for everything and His timing is perfect. Adjusting hasn't been that easy but I have some great friends and acquaintances that are helping. One of my friends laughed at me the other day when I was trying to describe phases of friendship I was telling her about this girl who I wanted to be my friend and I think she wants to be mine but we're not there yet. It just takes awhile, this is what I mean by acquaintances. I just don't like that word it makes me cringe a little bit seeing at how impersonal it is and me being a personable person. Either someone's your friend or they aren't, I only wish it was that simple..haha

Anyways, going back to school has been good for me. I actually don't mind the work load but being in a classroom is a lot harder than I expected it to be. You see all my classes are either with undergraduates or masters students who all have their other classes together and then there is me.

I was in class the other day and wrote this. Seeing that not many educations majors are guys and I had one in my class I decided to include how he might feel. It must be how guys feel in the education field all the time. Gosh..what a hard life. No wonder more educators aren't guys.

Ever been in a crowd
So confused
The punch thrust at your ribs
Bearing the bruise
When will this pain end
The colors that rouse
The heart all a flutter
The dog in the noose
There I am
So distant
So far
So close
So tangible
Here we are
Will our eyes meet
Or am I just the glare
In someone's sunglasses
But where
In between worlds
No spot for me
Waiting to be noticed
But wait see
At least there is one other
Same but different we are
Maybe we'll be friends
Even if it's only from afar
The tricks one plays
Just to fit in
But valuing the difference
For without doesn't matter
It's what's in
What's in

Anyways this next year is probably going to be somewhat lonely feeling caught not only in between two worlds physically but also world's within world's. Next year should be better and if I can get by with at least one friend who wants to be friend as well in each class we'll that'll be enough for now.

Please be praying for
1. A job-one where I can make enough money to get by on
2. that I would be able to understand things that should be familiar to me but are not quite yet
3. that others would have patience with me and I would have patience with them and myself.