Bolivia is still softly rejoicing in the rain she received last week. Creatures are emerging from their winter sulking and, as Andrew Peterson put it, “The hills remember green again” (or the grass does, at least. The trees still have some work to go, haha).
Creatures coming out meant I got to see a lot of insects this week that I’d only seen in books, the Internet, or TV in the past! Headlight elaters (those things are SO COOL), rhinoceros beetles, leaf-cutter ants. Also found some giant freshwater snail shells and the prettiest egg shell I’ve ever seen.
And of course, Screwtape showed up this week, too. 🦂
One of the lessons Jesus took me deeper in this week is what it means to bloom where you’re planted. As long as I’ve been here, certain things have become routine. I thrive with routine, but ironically, I fear it. It is so easy for me to become lazy and loose my spiritual fire when life becomes normal and has a sense of “ease.” I found myself despairing a bit that things weren’t very difficult for me and wondering what I needed to do to make sure I stayed spiritually sharp. Take on new responsibilities? Tackle some new challenge? Explore ministry options?
I wanted a push out of my comfort zone, but I’m realizing now that routine in some ways is not a comfort zone for me.
Jesus reminded me of a session I had at an Ellerslie alumni conference, a session on staying spiritually sharp. One of the points made was that we so often think that the solution is change and challenge. Something new, something to break up the routine and add a forced fire to prayer. (I mean, I definitely pray more then things are tough. 😛)
But challenge and change are not my saviors. They are not what I need. What I need is Jesus. What I need isn’t something different; I need to learn what it is to flourish for Jesus in the routine that He’s put me in. He certainly does use challenge to make us sharp, but His power is just as effective in the routine as in the new and unusual.
And you know, He is the same in America as He is in Bolivia. Adventures with Jesus and lives lived fully for Him are not limited to missionaries. The fullness of Jesus is a gift God desires to give all of His own. Don’t let anything keep you from reaching out to take it!
So anyway, the crazier side of me looks forward to when new challenges will arise that will cause me to very consciously be clinging to Jesus. But in the meantime, I’m learning to choose to enjoy the easier days while they are here, and cling to Jesus in the midst of them as well.
One highlight this week was having dinner in the mountains with the kids from the children’s home! The sweet presence of Jesus was very near and the food was fantastic. I let one of the kiddos take pictures with my phone, which meant I ended up with some of the most spectacular, bizarre, and sometimes too blurry to make out pictures. And lots of pictures of thumbs. Haha. I also got to play the guitar while we all sang around a campfire – one of my favorite things to do.
Please keep praying…
- For Bolivia’s elections – they are happening in a week (Oct. 20)! For those wondering, it’s very unlikely that my own safety will be at all affected, but depending on how things go, it could make travel difficult.
- That I would be able to breathe life and inspiration into my students as things also become routine for them! That they would be captivated by Jesus and motivated to do their schoolwork simply out of a deep love for Him.
- For Joyce’s safety as she travels back this week, and for the sanity of the family as we all go crazy waiting for her return!
- That God would bring the needed staff to the children’s home – especially administrators and house parents.
May you all find yourselves basking in a fresh vision of the living Jesus Christ this week!
Because of Him,