New Beginnings

heart plant

It’s been a while since I have posted. In fact, by the end of last year I think I had almost given up on writing altogether. The busy end of term deadlines with program registrations, data and evaluations due, on top of presentation day, classroom pack-up and general end of year festivities, left me exhausted and with very little time to myself. While I look back and can see it was a productive year with God beside me every step of the way, I know towards the end I had become weary and neglected making time with my beautiful Saviour.

heart plantgrass

Now, after a peaceful, restful Christmas, we are well into Term 1, and the job is already starting to ramp up again. I do not want to enter this year without prioritising my time with God. A new year, a new term, a new class. A new chance to spread his love to the world through the little ones in my care.

Over this holiday break I finally had the chance to read ‘Rhinestone Jesus’ by Kristen Welch. It had been on my to-read list for quite some time. This book took my heart out, twisted it ’til it hurt and put it back in again, leaving me wanting to do something to help those who are hurting, broken and in need.

rhinestone Jesus 2

Matthew 25:34-36 states,

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Kristen Welch’s first experience of a slum in Kenya stirred her heart and life into eventually establishing ‘Mercy House’ a maternity home for young pregnant women and girls who otherwise would end up having life-threatening abortions. Kristen’s account is incredibly moving, inspiring and challenging. And every step along the way she encourages the reader to realise that every little ‘yes’ to Jesus leads to a much bigger ‘yes’ by the power of His Spirit. None of what we do is really in our own strength, but in His. If we realise this, and step out beyond our fears to help a fellow human in need, we cannot even imagine what Christ can do on our behalf, using us as His instrument.

The question I was left desperately pondering after tearfully reading this book, was, What can I do?

While Kristen constantly reminded me that God will use me where I am, I kept feeling that there was so much more I could do aside from my teaching. I have had dreams of starting up a nonprofit organisation to help those in need for some time now (I even have the perfect property in mind) but it all seems a bit too far out of reach. So, because it is too hard, I realise I have neglected to even attempt to work towards that dream. While I know I have served God in my work, I know there is more. There is more to life than just working to provide for our ongoing personal needs.

Recently a friend at work shared a beautiful devotion on God’s spoken word and how she felt that God wanted to say to some of those listening that although we are in a waiting place, He has not forgotten our dreams, and that the words he has spoken over our lives may be yet to come to fruition. This struck a chord in my heart. I know and feel I have more to offer to God… in my teaching, my writing, my illustrating, my relationships, my church and my community. I want to provide a place and opportunity where people can meet Jesus. Whether that be through a devotional, a school lesson, a service, a photograph, an illustration or an organisation. I want others to feel God’s presence through my actions.

While I wait, I also want to be able to teach the children in my care to do the same. Sometimes modelled teaching is the best. Children often learn by seeing first, then doing. Whether you be a parent or teacher, what will you be teaching them today?

bird in flight