Archive for March, 2011

Changing Focus for a Season

Dear friends,

I wrote in the last post about the necessity of staying flexible, and it looks like the bending continues for me! I am grateful for the fact that it is happening in many ways that I am excited about, but it requires change nonetheless.

I have recently been praying and asking God to bring new opportunities for me to serve in my community and in our ministry, and God is answering that prayer in abundance! I am excited about these new opportunities, and especially about some great chances to reach out to moms in my neighborhood, but unfortunately it is looking like this will be a season where I won’t have time for blogging. I will certainly be praying for you though!

My plan is to put Missionary Moms on hold until the Fall when some of my responsibilities will lessen. In the meantime, I hope to do some work when I do find spare moments to make some needed upgrades and updates on the site. Who knows?  Maybe Missionary Moms will finally get the new look that I’ve been wanting for the past couple of years!

I wish I had an even greater capacity that would allow me to continue on here, as I love sharing life with you women, but I trust that this is what God has for me for the time.  I hope to see you back in the Fall!

Blessings,

Ashley

 

Staying Flexible


I remember when we were first making plans to move overseas being taught the importance of flexibility for survival on the field. I studied ballet for many years and one thing that I know for a fact is that one doesn’t become flexible immediately or simply by a resolute act of the will. It comes gradually and with continual practice, yielding oneself repeatedly, willingly, to the uncomfortable tug of the stretch. The result is gradual increased flexibility as muscles loosen and lengthen. And of course, once long and loose, muscles must be continually stretched to remain limber.

I am having great opportunity to work yet again on flexibility at the moment. It might have come naturally with ballet, but natural is not the word that I’d use to describe it as far as things not going my way in life. We are away on a visa trip, one that was originally not anticipated, and pretty much nothing has gone as planned (a.k.a. your standard visa trip). We came with one expectation about how long we’d be here, got great news that it would be shortened by a week, got additional news that it would be lengthened again, and then have found ourselves stranded yet even longer with a van whose transmission and brake system have spontaneously imploded, all costing a pretty penny that we don’t exactly have to spare.

I know that in years past I would likely have found myself in a foul mood, exuding discontent, but exclusively by the Lord’s grace, this time is different. I have had enough similarly stretching experiences to understand well that tensing muscles in frustration only leads to injury. The Holy Spirit, through practice and prayer, has trained in some patience and peace that wasn’t there before.

Sometimes I think I would love to just learn how to be flexible and have that lesson and the training that goes with it over and done with. I know, though, that flexibility is as vital to success in our work as it is to a ballerina, and requires continual training to keep us from gradually growing stiff and brittle, ready to snap when things don’t go our way. And we all know how often it is that things don’t go our way!

So, I praise God for the stretch and chance to stay flexible, praying that I retain that Spirit work and will bend well the next time.

How has God grown you in flexibility? Are there areas where you now find yourself easily flexing where you didn’t before? What areas are still a challenge?

(Post by: Ashley)


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