I apologize to all of you who don't see us and would love to see pictures of us and hear about what we are doing (which truthfully doesn't change too much from day to day and month to month :). I plan on posting a bunch of pictures shortly!
I wanted to share a little bit about what God's been teaching me through some very minor "pain and suffering". As I recently told the group of older girls here, I believe that God wants to teach us something through most, if not all, of the things that happen to us. But many times we are too focused on the "event" or the problem to be able to see or hear what He wants us to learn.
The things that I experienced recently each lasted about two days (or nights). Maybe because it took that long for God to really get my attention. :) I believe through all three things God wanted me to learn to have compassion for different groups of people that I may sometimes judge or wonder why they can't just "fix", put up with, or get pass the problem that they have.
First, there were two nights in a row that I woke up in the middle of the night, was completely "antsy" and could not go back to sleep. There have been other times when I've wakened during the night and God has given me something to pray about, but this was different. I could not lay still and had to get up and walk around. I believe God wanted me to learn to have compassion for people who have problems sleeping or chronic insomnia.
Second, there were two days that I had a constant painful lower back ache. It would not go away, no matter what I did. I could not stand, sit or lay comfortably. It was very difficult to be "nice" to anyone when I was constantly in pain. Once again, in praying and asking God to take it away, I believe God showed me that He wanted me to learn compassion for people who have chronic aches and pains. If it was difficult for me to withstand just two days of pain and still try to show Christ's love to those around me, I can't imagine months and and years of the same.
Lastly, there were two days when I felt very weak. It felt very difficult and overwhelming to even walk from the bottom of the hill up to our house or to keep my hands above my head long enough to wash my hair. I just felt weak and didn't feel like doing anything. I believe God wanted me to learn to have more compassion for the people that I see begging for money on the streets. It is very easy to judge them and wonder why they don't just look for some kind of job in order to earn money, but maybe they don't have the strength or the motivation to do that. Many times they don't have enough to eat and what they do get to eat probably isn't the best. I know, I know... there are some people out there who beg because it is easier than working, but even they deserve our compassion and love.
I pray that I will always remember and choose to put into practice the many things God is teaching me. It is so easy to be blessed by something we hear and learn in one moment and completely forget it in the next. I pray that each one of you would be able to see and hear God in the many things that pass through your days. May you look for what He wants to teach you in each moment of joy, pain, difficulty, peace, etc. May God bless you in all you do as you seek His will!