It's the weekend! At least it is for me. I hope that many of you can say the same thing. It's so nice to have three day weekends, especially when they include Easter, the celebration of our savior's death and resurrection!
That being said, it's the PERFECT time to celebrate this month's Highs and to offer some encouragement to each other about the inevitable Lows. I am happy to be linking up with Teacher to the Core for this reflective linky party.
This month has been so full of high moments, that I am going to get my Low out of the way first, so I can end on a celebratory note.
It's tough to think of too may specific one day lows, but I had several ongoing tough situations. First of all, my seven month relationship ended mid-month. It was a tough situation, but God has given me peace about it all. Also, my class continues to be very challenging. I leave every day feeling drained and like I did not do enough to meet the many, many needs of my kiddos. It's been hard for me to keep perspective this year because I tend to care so much about doing all I can for my kids that I take it personally when they are struggling. Plus, I tend to beat myself up about my management of some super fidgety and disruptive kiddos. I find myself getting frustrated and harsh with them too often and I have not yet found a long-term effective solution to the difficulties. Fortunately, God is beginning to teach me to surrender my perfectionism to Him and to trust Him with all situations, rather than trying to control them myself.
Now, time for the good stuff. This month's Highs!!! There were many of them, but I will try to be concise.
First of all, God has blessed me with so many AMAZING friends. I have had so many fun and meaningful times with both individuals and groups of friends this month including potlucks, Panera dinners, Bible studies, concerts, and a game night (tonight). It is so great to have friends who support, challenge, and encourage me to grow closer to Christ and who are just plain fun to hang out with! If I didn't have them, my Lows would be much lower.
My next high was actually something that I found out about in February, but really started getting excited about this month. I wasn't sure when to share the big news at first, but now seems like the perfect time.
Drum roll please
GOING TO UGANDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On July 10 I will be traveling with a Journey117 team to Uganda, one of Africa's poorest states that unfortunately has a very high orphan population as a result of its economy, high illiteracy rates and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Our team will serve alongside Ugandan believers as we minister to orphans in various care settings, including institutional orphanages, orphan homes, and church-based homes. Our team will conduct recreational programs, assist with feeding programs, teach in local schools, visit homes of at-risk families, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those we come in contact with throughout our time there. By experiencing this culture first-hand and learning more about the various models of orphan care and rescue, I will walk away with a better understanding of how I can be an advocate on behalf of the fatherless. Taking this Journey is my first step in discovering what it means to live out Isaiah 1:17 in a relevant way.
Journey 117 is a branch of World Orphans. The organization exists to encourage, educate, and empower individuals to be lifelong orphan advocates in response to God's command in Isaiah 1:17 to defend the oppressed and to take up the cause of the fatherless.
That blurb was from an official support letter, but it explains things very well. As a Compassion advocate, I am so excited about how well Journey 117's mission aligns with Compassion's. I cannot wait to go and serve the orphans in Uganda and to come back empowered to advocate for them for the rest of my life!
I am especially pumped because God has made it so clear to me that He has called me to go on this trip. Right after I found out I was accepted to be a team member, a friend of mine loaned me this INCREDIBLE book called Kisses from Katie about a 22 year old girl whose life was very similar to mine until she felt called to serve in Uganda. Once there, God rocked her world and led her to adopt 14 young girls and to commit to living her life there to love and serve those living in utter poverty. This is a clip that tells more about the book and Katie's story. I could not recommend this book more highly.
Last, but certainly not least, I have to share about the results of the One Meal, One Day campaign. As most of you probably know, I have been promoting this campaign for over a month and yesterday was the big day, the day of the fast, when people skipped a meal to raise awareness and money for hungry children in Ethiopia. Here are the results:
Compassionate Teacher's Total Funds Raised: $635!!!!!!!!!!
One Meal, One Day Campaign Total: $8,660!!!!!
Words cannot express how blown away I am by everyone's generosity and God's abundant provision. When I first started the campaign, I purposefully set what Liberty University students call a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (B.H.A.G.) of $500 to see what God could do. As the campaign went on and the total was only around $100, I began to accept that my goal was "too lofty," but that whatever funds were raised would help. Well, this week, I learned my lesson about thinking that anything is "too lofty" for God!
On Tuesday night, an anonymous donor gave $500!!!!!
I teared up when I got the e-mail notification. God is so amazing! He came through in a last minute, unexpected, miraculous way!!!
Then, I was more amazed on Wednesday when tons of people encouraged me and joined me in fasting and more people donated to the campaign.
I cannot thank all of you enough for your support of and donations to the campaign. I was so blessed by everyone's encouragement and involvement. More importantly children in Ethiopia will blessed as the money is used to help them have enough food to eat and to show them that they are loved.
So, I know I was long-winded as usual, but I just had to share some of the blessings that God has poured out on me lately. I also hope to encourage all of you that God is good and He can meet and blow away even the Biggest, Hairiest, most Audacious Goals if we are bold enough to ask Him for them!