Happy Birthday to Me

 

My birthday’s coming! In a month, to be exact – technically everyone’s birthday is “coming” unless it’s that day, right? So I have been thinking about how to celebrate. This year my birthday falls on a long weekend, and Matt and I have talked about potentially going camping, and if that falls through we’ll probably invite some friends over for cake.

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We camped my birthday weekend in 2012

Or something.

While plans for the day remain up in the air, I have decided on one thing: what to ask for gifts.

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The Discipline of Mission

Make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. – Hebrews 12:13

Our annual trip to Bathurst was good this year – we had a strong leadership team and a hardworking group of students, and I’m so proud of the things we accomplished. God showed up, and it was so great to see students grow in their faith and step out of their comfort zone to┬áreap the rewards of taking holy risks.

In spite of all this, I think our biggest challenge is still in front of us – settling back to normal life without losing the excitement of living for God every day. Going on a mission trip can be a spiritual high, and if it’s not you might wonder whether you’re doing it wrong. But here’s the thing.

Taking a mission trip changes where you are and what you do, but it does not change who you are or what God wants from you. Sometimes the change in routine and perspective can help clarify your understanding of those big questions – who am I? What does God want from me? – but ultimately the spiritual fruit that so often comes out of these experiences is accessible through every day faithfulness.

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Looking Out

Sitting in a skyscraper on my lunch break, I can’t help but feel separated from reality, floating 45 stories above the pulse of suits, panhandlers and tourists below.

skyscrapersWe’re leaving for Bathurst tomorrow, and I’m still processing a recent trip to Mistissini QC, and honestly I can’t wait to simply spend two weeks on the ground, with people who I can pray with and talk things through with and live in the moment with.

There will be challenges, of course. There always are. But I’ve been wrestling with a Jesus who keeps disassembling the boxes I build for him, and that is never easy. I know the Holy Spirit doesn’t need an elevator to be with me up here, yet I hear that still small voice clearer when I’m closer to Earth.

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