Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Laughing at myself

I think this must be a record...2 posts in 1 week! But I was just thinking about how often when we ask God to do something in our lives... He sure does work quickly! As I was driving home from Parachute on Sunday I was thinking about the way that I tend to take myself too seriously, and how too often I'm most concerned about what others are thinking of me. So I asked God to help me learn to laugh at myself...when I make mistakes I'm prone to worry about them excessively and think about how those mistakes might affect someone else's opinion of me. Instead, I wanted to be able to laugh at myself, realizing that I'm an ordinary girl fraught with imperfections, and use the opportunity to praise God for using such a weak vessel as I am. So.....

Before I left this past weekend, I uploaded a file of my trifold brochure to a local copy center for reproduction. Earlier on I found a couple typos in the text and had fixed them, but for some reason the file I uploaded didn't contain the corrections. As I was headed out of town, I stopped at the copy store to approve the proofs, so I could pick up the copies when I got back this week. Not even thinking to check the corrections, I signed off on the proof and happily went on my way, relieved to have that accomplished. Imagine my dismay when I went back today only to discover that the typos were still in the brochures! I now had a choice: was I going to pay another $200 to have them redone, was I going to stress about my mistake and agonize over the implications (fear that this would reflect poorly on me and my ministry), or was I going to learn to laugh at my mistakes and pray that God's people would have the grace to overlook my imperfections. I thought and thought about it.... How could I justify spending another $200 just for a couple typos? The faces of the impoverished children I'm going to flashed through my mind. No, that wasn't an option. Well, fretting about the matter is certainly natural enough, I could do that quite easily. But no, that's not right or even effective! My only option became clear. I must use this opportunity to laugh and learn and live on. Thankfully I believe the Lord will still use me even though I neglected to double check a brochure that one fateful morning. And, thankfully His grace covers over so much more than just a couple typos! So lesson learned... be more careful next time, and in the mean time leave it in His hands to do with as He pleases. And if those of you reading this happen to go back and check that brochure for the typos, you're welcome to join me in a hearty laugh and use it to remember His grace that covers all, both great and small.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wow. That's all I can say after an incredible day! (Isn't it funny how often after people say that, they go on to say so much more?? :) ) I can definitely say that while this deputation trail can be intense, exhausting, and at times intimidating, it is incredibly rewarding! I was warmly welcomed into the home of Pastor Charlie and Sue Hornick last evening, and spent most of the day ministering, and mostly *being* ministered to at Grace Bible Church of Parachute. I was so incredibly blessed to share with the congregation the love and passion the Lord has given me for Uganda, and then was so blessed to hear their response and receive the encouragement and affirmation of so many people. All of this was topped off by an incredible afternoon with the youth group which included the *best* scavenger hunt ever, sharing some of my testimony with them, and amazing pizza :) So you can see the blessings just kept piling on throughout the day!
I was reading back through some of my earlier posts and remembering some of the trepidation I felt at the beginning of deputation. I think I still feel some of that trepidation when I'm on the phone with new pastors that I haven't met, but once I actually get into the church, I am constantly astounded and the kindness and graciousness of God's people. Even when I feel like I spoke poorly and my communication was completely ineffective, the Lord places just the right people to not only provide me with encouragement, but remind me of what's important. Hence my desperate prayer becomes that I would simply be the greatest encouragement and the most passionate minister of God's grace and love that I can possibly be to each person I meet. And praise the Lord, He keeps placing people along the way to do just that right back to me!! I really do serve such a great and awesome God!!!
I have been learning so much too!! Sometimes it's just learning about myself and being convicted at the way I respond in new situations, and sometimes it's under the gentle hand of instruction from the godly men and women I am meeting. Whatever the case, The Lord has been very good at gently showing me my weaknesses and flaws, and by His grace, He will continue to mold me and form me into the woman He wants me to be....a women fully equipped to do His work, whether here or in Africa.

Just a quick note: please pray for the short term team from my church that's in Uganda right now. Tomorrrow (well actully there tomorrow is today :) ) they start ministering in the villages preaching the gospel. Pray for their strength, boldness, and compassion for the people.