Weekend Inspiration

Today, my inspiration comes from a familiar place. The pages of Katie Davis’ blog.

“Compassion is not a bending toward the underprivileged from a privileged position; it is not reaching out from on high to those who are less fortunate below; it is not a gesture of sympathy or pity for those who fail to make it in the upward pull. On the contrary compassion means going directly to those people and places where suffering is most acute and building a home there.” Henri Nouwen

At this stage in my life, “building a home there” is not a literal calling to some faraway land. For me, it is about walking alongside someone who is hurting and who needs a shoulder. It is about having the strength to walk through the ugly with them, without looking away. I don’t always have that kind of courage. But I long for a heart that is always willing.  The kind of heart that can only come from God.  May God grant me the faith and the courage to live out this kind of love. The same kind He gave to me, his unworthy daughter.

As a former geriatric nurse, I am keenly aware that we will all eventually be the ones who are in need.  We will all find ourselves at the mercy of the compassion of others.  We will be embraced, or we will be forgotten.  When that day comes, it will all be out of our hands.  But today it is our turn to be the givers.  My prayer is that God gives me the eyes to see the needs all around me and the courage to not look away.

John 13:15
Philippians 2:3-7

What I Learned in School This Year {by Dylan}

I learned to ride a bike all by myself.

I can follow a picture schedule so I know where to go next.

I can wait patiently in line with my friends.

I can sing along with the Goodbye Song!

I’ve had a good year and grown a lot! I can’t wait for Kindergarten!

{We have much to be thankful for this year. Dylan is making amazing progress and as you can see, he is a happy little guy. Thanks to all who ask about him and pray for him. Please keep him in your prayers as next year will be a big milestone!}

Inspiration for the Waiting

Kisses from Katie shared a story from her garden today. A story about the long wait for the sunflower blossom. The watering, the fertilizing.  The pulling out of weeds that threaten to choke out it’s potential.  The joy of the blooming season, and the promise and anticipation of seasons to come. It hit home for me in our journey through autism. She writes,

Sometimes we look out at our lives and it seems the garden is empty – plans dead as withered leaves, dreams laid waste. Could we rejoice in the season of waiting, believing that God who brought Jesus out of the black tomb and brings green shoots out of hard earth will bring new life out of all dark seasons too? Could we know that beauty is in this whole process, the waiting part too, not just the end result?

I don’t often see the beauty in the waiting. But it is there. It is there for me and it is there for Dylan. It is there for my husband and my other children. We walk this path, often only in anticipation of the ending.  Waiting for the day he can function age appropriately.  Hoping for independence and recovery.  Working, struggling, doubting, praying.  Busying ourselves with the task at hand and forgetting to look around at the now and see the beauty.

Watering.  Fertilizing. Pulling the weeds as they threaten to choke out his potential. Trusting that the Father’s light will shine on him and, in time, create a magnificent bloom.  It’s work.  Hard, frustrating, overwhelming work.  But it’s beautiful too.  How often I forget to look around and remember where I am.  To see the beauty in the present day.

As I gaze in wonder, I remember how He brought us out of the dark and the hard. I remember how He protected us from the pounding rain and the scorching sun, baby green shoots clinging to Him for dear life. I remember that as we reached high to the Son, He came down and pulled us closer. We turn out heads up in awe and we know what is around the corner, but we look expectantly to the bowing and the bending and the death of all we had planned because we know – in Him, there will always be more. Glorious hope.
Katie Davis

Too much of my life has been spent in pursuit of. And too little of it spent soaking in the now. If you (like me) are in a place in your life where you’re struggling with the waiting, won’t you join me as I pray for my eyes to be open to the beauty of the moment?

Sunday Inspiration: A Lesson From Moses

Christian Personal Finance has a great article today called What’s In Your Hand: A Lesson From Moses.

Katie Davis Book Released Today!

You may remember a story I shared a few weeks ago about Katie Davis. As a 19 year old fresh out of high school, Katie embarked on what she thought would be a one year missions trip to Uganda. It turned out to be quite more than that.  Today she has made Uganda her permanent home and has made a lifetime commitment to the service of this country. She presently runs Amazima Ministries, which feeds, clothes and educates over 1,600 children and she has adopted 14 orphans.

She is 21 years old.

I have been profoundly inspired by her blog and have been looking forward to the release of her book Kisses from Katie.  And today it is here!  I was able to get an early copy of it and I can say that it is definitely a book I will read over and over.  I hope you can go pick up a copy for yourself.

One lesson that hit home for me in this book is the reality of our insufficiency and God’s faithfulness.  I am in a place in my life right now where I know what to do to help my autistic son but cannot do it all because therapy and medical interventions are so costly.  It is an indescribable feeling of helplessness and frustration. Some days I am eaten up by the anger and fear of it all.

Katie shares a similar frustration as she walks the streets of Uganda and witnesses overwhelming need beyond anything she could ever meet herself.  She (like me) can only do so much even though she wants to do more.  But God reminds her and He reminds me that our task is to do what He puts in front of us THIS DAY and trust Him with the rest.  To be faithful with the provisions of money and time He has entrusted to us and give the rest to Him.

I am still not in a place where I particularly like that answer.  I’d really rather just give my son everything that would help him every single day. But Katie reminds me that my child is His child and God loves him even more than I do.  So I am thankful for this lesson learned from a 21 year old about how be at peace with baby steps of progress when my heart wants nothing less than a full-on sprint!

You can head over HERE to read Katie’s blog and HERE to learn about Amazima Ministries.  Amazon has the book Kisses from Katie available starting today for $14.79.