Monday, February 22, 2016

On a Mission - Week 24 - the eyes of a parent

"To effectively serve others, we must see them through a parent’s eyes"

These past few months have been eye-opening to me.  

When I began last September to think about living my life like a mission for the next 18 months, I never imagined I'd end up working full-time to effect some of the changes I've been aching to see through all my years of volunteering in the schools and at the food bank and with SHEDCO, our local economic development committee.  

And yet, here I am.

It is humbling.  Because I feel so grateful to have been given this moment in time, this work, in this place that I love so much.  And humbling because people are trusting me to make things happen that I've only talked about.  Humbling also because I feel so tired, so beyond myself so often and yet every morning, almost every single morning, the joy is there, the strength is there, the little bit of light around the edge of the door.

“You need to know that the Lord hasn’t called you because of anything you have done. In your case, it is probably in spite of what you have done. The Lord has called you for what He needs to do through you, and that will happen only if you do it His way.”

I'm never entirely sure I'm doing it the right way.

I keep checking in, trying to listen and hear if I'm getting off track.  In some ways I am wobbling.  I'm not balanced with my time at home.  Relying too heavily on the order and supplies I've laid up in years and months past.  Expecting too much of my wonderful sons -- who are so often rising to the challenge, rising above it.  They are a delight to be with and an immense help in keeping our home running.

I keep having to remind myself that this isn't Emma J's program, that it doesn't matter if someone else needs the limelight, it doesn't matter what the politics are, or the rules and regulations we need to work with.  What matters is that our students realize they live in a lovely town, that they can make something great of their lives.  

We've started bulletin boards around the school highlighting Successful Graduates showing the wide variety of shapes success can take.  I love seeing students pause in front of it, taking its message in.  I love changing out the bulletin board, moving a new story in.

"Something wonderful happens in a missionary’s service when he or she realizes that the calling is not about him or her; rather, it is about the Lord, His work, and Heavenly Father’s children." 
I look in the mirror at the end of the day.  My face is tired.  I look into my heart at the end of the week when I have to drive Fritz back to the airport once again.  My heart is lonely and weary.  But something seems to come over me when I finish my morning laps at the pool and put on my school clothes and drive into the parking lot right behind the big yellow buses.  My work is good and full of daily joys.

I'm more aware of the goodness of others who surround and support me.  Fritz whose daily calls keep his voice in our ears and his concern and watching care in our hearts.  The friend who plans a monthly visit during my lunch time, bringing me chocolate cake or raspberry jam of her own making, because she doesn't want to cut into my time at home in the evening with Young & Mijo.   Neighbors who help me see that my own boys get to the places they need to be safely and on time. Teachers at the schools who keep an eye out for my boys, knowing they are going through a challenge of their own, missing their dad and his jokes and laughter, dealing with a busy mom.

"This expanded perspective will open our hearts to the disappointments, fears, and heartaches of others.  But Heavenly Father will aid and comfort us . . . We need to have eyes that see, ears that hear, and hearts that know and feel if we are to accomplish the rescue"

I'm reminding myself to take more time to delight in the good around me.

Not only the supporting love of my family.  Not only the help and kindness of my friends.  But also the blessing of doing this work itself.  There are young people in our midst who are rising above unbelievable challenges.  It is amazing to see their power, their hope, and their ability.  And I am humbled to be given this chance to be a witness of it.  To witness their rising.  To hear them speak with dawning hope and determination.  To think I get to be a part of this for at least this moment in time.

"Only then can we begin to comprehend the true worth of a soul. Only then can we sense the love that Heavenly Father has for all of His children."

quotes from Dale Renlund,"Through God's Eyes"

1 comment:

NWG said...

I was reading this and was struck by this being your 18 month mission. One of the hardest things for missionaries is being transferred. Transfers come without consideration for whether the work on the present location has come to the missionary's idea of a conclusion. A need is seen, the time has come, and the missionary finds herself learning a new area and new contacts.

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