The Freedom to Try

The past few days, we’ve been working to put up some wall art at CIT. Before we began, my friend said these words to me. “Let’s try it and see what happens. If it ends up being a fail, it’s okay. We can say that we tried.”

After starting the project, we realized that it would take a lot longer than we initially expected, as each letter had to be taken off and carefully placed in alignment with the others. I continued to remember those words. “Let’s try and see what happens.”

image1-3

This project taught me about teamwork, and about trying. As we worked together, we were able to accomplish more, and we were able to encourage each other to continue until the project was finished. We gave ourselves the permission to fail; in the end, if it didn’t work out, we could start over and try again. We also gave ourselves the freedom to try, and in the end, it wasn’t a fail; it was a success. Yet we wouldn’t have known that if we hadn’t at least tried it.

image7

After the encouragement of the first one completed, we were also able to complete a second one, and even though it looked different than the first, we were able to use what we had learned to put this one up.

image5-2

This project got me thinking about trying.

Recently, I read a quote from Bob Goff, which says, “God doesn’t enjoy seeing us fail; He loves to watch us grow.”

This comes with the freedom to try, to grow, and we might be surprised when looking back, that the things were were afraid of failing at, were the things, that in the end, grew us the most.

Maybe your in the middle of language learning, or in the middle of making a big decision in ministry. What would you do, if you gave yourself the freedom to try?  What would happen if you tried it, and see what happens?

What are the areas in your life that He is calling forth growth, to trust Him more fully, and rely on His strength?

Give yourself the freedom to try, and see what happens. There’s some beautiful lessons intertwined within the daily.

Give yourself the freedom to try, and if there comes a moment to pause–take it and breathe– and then jump back in with renewed steadfastness.

Give yourself the freedom to try; in the end, you aren’t failing; you are growing, growing more into His likeness, as you learn about patience and steadfastness, perseverance and faithfulness.

Give yourself the freedom to try, and see what happens.

Venturing

image1-2.JPGI ventured into the forest at the back of CIT today, a moment of silence and solitude in the middle of the day. I heard the birds chirping, but other than that, there was silence.

The trees themselves spoke of stillness, as there has been an abrupt change of weather in the past few days, snow passing through, and still they stand, calm and still. Rain is forecasted for later this afternoon, and again they will stand tall together, calm and still.

I’ve been thinking about the word ‘wisdom,’ and what it means. Proverbs 2 talks about inclining your eye to wisdom, to search for it, like a hidden treasure. There are three words that go together in this passage–wisdom, discernment, and understanding, and that wisdom is given from the Lord.

There is this searching, this seeking, and then there is Him giving, giving a gift that we cannot find ourselves, but can prepare our hearts to receive openly. We incline our ears to the One who inclines His ear to us. We apply our hearts and search out wisdom, and we find it there, there in our very midst, given from the Giver of all things. “He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of Justice, and preserves the way of His saints”(Prov. 2:7-8).

Do not fear today. He is guarding your path. If you are seeking for wisdom it will be found, but the journey might be longer than you expect in finding it. Continue to press in, like the trees, and take root, for there will be a peace that comes that no storm can topple. Venture out into the unknown, and search for it like a hidden treasure. You might just be surprised as what you’ll find.

I ventured out into the forest today, and I learned about silence, about seeking, and about finding, and that wisdom calls forth, the intertwining of His handiwork in every day moments, moments of pausing in wonder. May we continue to seek to find, to find what we are seeking–more of Him, His invisible qualities seen.

Renewing Steadfastness

The sky is grey today, overcast for most of the day, and cold. It’s winter weather again, and maybe that’s how you’re feeling. Maybe you’ve come up against delay after delay in moving overseas, or maybe you’ve arrived, only to discover that you are still in a waiting period before yet, another transition.

image2-13

Maybe you’ve come up to a block with language learning, or maybe there seems to be way more on your plate than you expected, the list of things continuing to grow as your patiences thins, and then there’s a simple thing like missing the train in the morning, or stepping into a puddle on a cold, rainy day. Suddenly you’re feeling like you want to go home, and words like these come to mind:

Move back.

Done.

I  tried, and I can’t go anymore.

I can’t do this whole cross-cultural living. 

I’m done waiting. I’ve waited to come, and I’ve waited in line after line to fill out paperwork. I’m done waiting.

image3-6

I remember one time I had a moment like this in the shampoo isle at the store (yes, the shampoo isle), tears spilling over and guilt hitting me for ever thinking of moving back and quitting because of shampoo.

“It’s just shampoo,” I thought, but in reality, it was more than that. It was that I had tried over and over, multiple shampoo bottles that didn’t work, my hair feeling brittle, my head itchy from the cold weather in a new place, as I was adjusting to the colder temperatures than I was used to.

It was that I had tried finding shampoo at the grocery store, only to find that there was a separate store for shampoo, and that I had to find that location as well, and by that time, I really just wanted the convenience of what I had known in the US to be the same here. I wanted, for just this one instance (or maybe more than once), for things to be the same.

It was more than shampoo. It was about about steadfastness, to keep going when the road seemed like a hard climb, to remind myself of truth that God had called me to this place when thoughts came of moving home over shampoo, and to keep trying when I felt like I had come up with everything I could think of.

Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a pure heart, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Renew.

It’s winter weather today, and yet, there are also signs of spring, flowers budding on trees, if you look closely.

image4-5

May He renew within you, a steadfast, unwavering spirit, to stand firm, for the enemy will try anything to kill, steal, and destroy, and he will use discouragement of the spirit to do just that. May we rest in the shadow of the Almighty, and may we see, anew, steadfastness. May it grow within us.

Just like the buds of spring.

-HM