Tuesday, July 20, 2010

it's that time of year again

well in just a week i will find myself once again on a long plane ride destined for africa. it's hard to believe this will be my 4th year traveling to the country of zambia! i remember my first time and how i had no idea what it would be like and what i should pack and what the people would be like. now i feel like a pro. packing doesn't stress me out. i get to reunite with people i love. i know what to expect and what i'll see. it's just a different perspective now i suppose.

this year feels different for me though. while i'm excited to go and spend a month sleeping in a tent, pooping in a hole, cooking over a fire and being with friends, there is a struggle to really embrace it fully this year. honestly i feel like this is the first year it feels like a sacrifice for me to go. i hope that doesn't sound awful, cause i don't mean for it to. it's just that this year my focus has been on so many things other than africa so now i have to reorient my brain and shift my focus. so much of my focus lately has revolved around getting my house together, helping with a church plant, forming all kinds of new relationships and investing in the lives of people in my community here. the thought of leaving this incredible community of people that i'm surrounded by for a month makes me sad. i know it's only a month but when you get used to living life daily with others you really come to rely on them for support and love and encouragement. thus, the sacrifice.

i know i have to lay down my desires and pick up my cross and follow Him. it's the call that He's put on my life and the responsibility that He has given me for now so i have to be responsible with it. i was praying in my car this morning and i just realized how selfish i am. i've already been looking with anticipation towards the fall and being able to focus myself back here in coatesville again and it's the wrong attitude. i need to be fully present in this moment. when i'm in zambia i need to be fully present there, not distracted by what i want to do when i get home. i want to have my full attention on zambia while i'm there. it's so hard being a human with weaknesses. yeah i know that sounds ridiculous but it's the truth sometimes.

a friend of mine posted this quote on facebook this morning and it really spoke to me.

...Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men & women who kept on working....

i have no idea who wrote that or where it came from but it's so true. i've gone through a lot of exhaustion and feeling discouraged but i press on!

oh and i know this probably goes against every blog etiquette rule but my brother and i are still in need of some funds for this trip so if you feel so inclined to give that would be a blessing. if not, that's cool, too. i appreciate that you read this and keep up with me (even though i don't write as much as i should)! hopefully i'll be able to update this a few times while i'm away and share with you about what's going on over there. clicking the donate button will connect you to paypal where you can make a tax-deductible donation to hope beyond borders (the non-profit i work for), which will go towards our trip.

thanks so much!!!


Gina said...

Not because I have any major trips going on in my life, but I've been struggling to stay in the moment too. I am not even talking about getting excited for the baby's birth, but just day-to-day being in the moment. It's tough, but if anyone can do it, you can. Thinking about you!

Brittany Ann said...

That quote is just so perfect. And so encouraging, because sometimes, the best I can do is to just to keep plodding along, and I wish I had more spunk, more fire, more shine. Like I was at 110 percent all the time. But, at least, I'm there. I guess that's half the battle, to acknowledge we're tired and unmotivated and still show up, no matter how many other places we'd rather be.

Praying for you on this part of your mission!

Tatiana said...

Susan that's so amazing that you're going back! Your mission work has touched so many! I will keep you in my prayers and hope to hear more from your journey and adventures :-)

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I think it's great that you're going back! I know that it can be stressful sometimes when you have other things going on but I'm sure you'll be really glad that you went once you come back.

Michelle said...

Good luck on your trip! The quote is so true. Keep it up.