Monthly Archives: July 2011

Open the Eyes of My Heart…

I know. I know. It’s an old song. Used and abused. Over-sung and under-appreciated. But if you stop to really think about the meaning behind the words it’s kind of – well, awesome.

As I was driving home this afternoon I was reflecting on the meeting I had just left – our first official Commitment Lunch for the Mission Trip to Guatemala in September.

As my good friend Ryan was starting the meeting, he suggested we go around and introduce ourselves and share what we hoped to “get out of” the trip. Yeah, uh huh…and he did it. He looked straight at me and said, “Cindy, why don’t you start?” (BTW – Ryan, thanks for that!)

Now it’s not like I haven’t thought about what I hope to “get out of” this trip. I’ve thought a great deal about the trip and I’ve formed expectations in my mind (most of which I expect to be totally inaccurate, but that’s what this “planner personality” does. She anticipates.). I’ve looked at pictures and watched videos trying to prepare myself for what I’ll experience. I’ve read articles and blogs and books by people involved in ministering to those living in third world countries in the name of Christianity – most of which honestly tell you that there are no words to describe what you will feel. Well, that’s a big help!

This will actually be my first mission trip, my first time traveling outside the United States and only my third time traveling by airplane (well, 5th and 6th if you count round trips as two flights – I’m such an ignorant traveler still, but I love it!).

I shared with the group that my hope was to see for myself what life outside the U.S. looks like. I know, eloquent, right? Not even a little bit!

I’m much better with words when I’m typing them than when I have to deliver them from my actual lips. What I would have liked to expressed is that in experiencing life outside of the U.S. I would better understand a little of what my purpose is. Why was I chosen to enjoy a life of freedom? Why do I get more opportunities than I could ever take advantage of? Why me? Why now? Why here? And the words from the book of Esther ricocheted through my mind – “For such a time as this…

God gave me what He’s given me for a reason – to bring glory to His name. That’s what I should be about every day, no matter where I am.

So as I anticipate my trip, I thought about what kind of work I would like for God to do in my life. And I came to the conclusion that the eyes of my heart need to be opened to see the whole world the way He sees it. To see the people of Guatemala City not as objects to be pitied, but as God’s beloved and chosen. To see them as individuals who may not have the luxuries you and I take for granted but as “the apple of His eye”, precious and valuable. I expect to learn from them and see the hand of God there, possibly in ways we may never be able to experience in a “First World” setting.

I also expect that the eyes of my heart will see my everyday life a little differently when we return. I have found that a change in perspective is a very powerful thing.

If you would like to be a part of this journey with me, there are several ways to do that. 1) I would love for you to commit to pray for me, the Missions Team, and the ministry of Hope for Guatemala. Please leave a comment below so I know who my Prayer Warriors are. 2)You can contribute to the cost of the travel expenses  and supporting the Ministry by clicking this link and making a secure, tax deductible donation. It is our goal that more than 50% of all funds raised will go straight to Hope for Guatemala. 3) Consider forwarding this message to people you know. This is too important to keep to ourselves. Everyone deserves an invitation to be a part of this great work.

Thank you! I hope to keep you posted here at I Saw God Today throughout our trip. But since I don’t know exactly what to expect, we’ll just have to wait and see! 🙂

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One Word 2011 – Mid-year Update

Okay, so my ONE WORD Mid-Year Update  is slightly late. @gritandglory will just have to take off points from my final grade for turning in late work.

You can read my initial ONE WORD post here. But in the mean time I’ll just tell you what my word is for 2011 – it’s “DO”. And I’ve been DOING quite a bit…well, DOING a lot of DOING but not so much DOING very much writing. I’ve got to find some balance and get all these blog posts floating around in my head out and on “paper” or posted or whatever.

I must be honest and admit that my word has not manifested itself as I expected. I think I was looking for some version of a “bucket list” with many boxes checked off at the end of the year. But that would have only proved one thing – what I was DOING was staying busy. Not exactly the direction I want to take.

Don’t get me wrong. There are lists involved and boxes to check and goals to meet. The difference is the process is the point, not the lovely little check mark. The DOING has not so much been a “DO IT” and move on to the next thing but more of a “DO it today. DO it tomorrow. DO it next week. DO it next month. You get the picture.

Some of my DO IT items so far:

  • Read through the bible in a year (second year) I’m using the YouVersion App and the Chronological Plan for this year.
  • I decided to make my health a priority. Small steps to start, but WOW the difference the last 6 and a half weeks have made. I’m working with a Personal Trainer (remember the Assassin?) who is now nicknamed the Miracle Worker – the patience of Job, I tell ya! I’m also using the treadmill for something other than a clothes rack. (I actually started writing this post in my head while doing my 1.5-mile walk last night.) One other thing I’m DOING is using the LoseIt App (as recommended by Michael Hyatt, Ron Edmonson and others). All this DOING has already netted some pretty significant results. I have tons more energy, I feel better than I have in years, I’ve lost 16 pounds and the other day I found out that after almost 20 years I can actually sit “criss-cross-applesauce” again. Now that may not seem like much of an accomplishment to you, but to these old hip joints, it’s something they never thought they’d be able to DO this side of heaven.
  • I applied for and got my very first passport this past Spring. After finally getting on an airplane last Fall for the first time, I now have a new habit to support. And apparently travel as a hobby is slightly more expensive than reading. Who’da thought?
  • As a result of obtaining the passport, I am now able to DO something else later in the year – I plan to join a team of volunteers from Stonecreek Church to visit our partner ministry in Guatemala City, Hope for Guatemala. I’ll let you know very soon how you may be able to help me with this trip and also support the mission there. (BTW – I’m VERY excited about this!)
  • I’ve given myself the goal of reading 25 books this year. Right now Bonhoeffer, by Eric Metaxas is kicking my rear almost as much as The Assassin – oops, I mean The Miracle Worker – is. It’s a fantastic biography and I plan to do a review here soon. My Kindle tells me I’m almost 75% of the way there.
  • And one last DO IT item for you – I took the challenge to memorize one passage/verse of scripture a week for the year. Now this is one area that I’m having a great deal of trouble with. It seems to be harder to commit anything to memory these days much less words in language that nobody uses every day. But ironically there’s something inside telling me that while it is important to “hide God’s Word in my heart,” it’s the DOING what the Word says that will make a difference.  I’m still working on committing it to memory while also committing it to action.

So at the half-way mark, I’m still DOING. And while it doesn’t necessarily “look” like I thought it would, I’m falling in love with my ONE WORD every day.