I sit here as my little boy takes a nap next to me. It’s been a fun morning of playing and having Gabriel follow me around as I prepare food and do dishes. And now it’s quiet. I figure I have a good 30 minutes, maybe an hour if I’m lucky, to reflect and share something that has been on my heart.
You see, I had this dream, this plan, this idea of how life would look. My family spent over a year preparing to move to Colombia to be long term missionaries. I dreamt of how I would easily manage to be a mom to our 6 month old at the time, balance that with a children’s ministry, blog regularly, and yet still have dinner ready every night. In my mind it all seemed so easy.
And how does that look now? Well, I’m blogging for the first time in 6 months if that tells you anything. Let’s just say I’m not any where close to that plan I had of having it all together. Each day is different and after spending the day chasing around our now 1 year old, cooking his food and making our dinners, trying to do what I can to invest and encourage those around me, I have to laugh at that nicely packaged plan I once had of how all of this would look. Some nights we don’t eat until after 8PM, and by the time I sit down to rest for the evening it’s time to go to bed as the next day starts promptly at 6am.
I won’t lie, in the moments before I close my eyes to sleep, I’m reminded of all that isn’t getting done, of all I wanted to do, to teach Gabriel, to be a light in the community where we live and serve, and yet I wonder and doubt what was actually accomplished that day. It could be easy to let those disappointments tug on my heart and bring me down, and honestly sometimes I’m just too tired to fight them. But other times I remember the great moments of the day. The moments where Gabriel wraps his arms around my neck and lays his head on my shoulder…the moments he grabs my hand and brings it to his face for comfort…the moments he laughs while following me around or giggles as we sing songs and dance together…the moments I share words of encouragement, of Truth, with different friends and am able to really listen to them…the moments I get sweet hugs from the children at church.
None of this looks like I imagined, like I had planned, but it is even better. For if I know that I have lived my day with intention, God can use my beautiful and chaotic life to share joy, light, hope, and Love in each moment.
The same goes with our plan to live long term here in Cartagena. With the wonderful surprise of our daughter who is due to be born in October, and finances that just haven’t panned out the way we had hoped, we know this dream, this plan is changing for now. As we prepare to move back to the States in August, it’s easy to get lost in the disappointment, but then I ask myself, who am I trying to win the approval of?
Galations 1:10 states, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
We have stayed true to our plans and commitments moving forward in faith and living each day with intention. Time here is not waisted, but is a gift. And we know we will be back, visiting every year, investing in the people here, and trusting that God knows our hearts to serve and live internationally and the love we have for our Colombian family here.
Our plans are changing for now, but I know that I will continue to live each day intentionally wherever I am, being a light in my community and especially my family. I know and trust that God can use my life to share his Love and Truth. So I remain open to Him…