Sunday, October 17, 2010

A week away

This past week our whole team was away at a hotel for meetings. We had a speaker come in from Canada to spend time with us and many things to process. While the week was still very busy, it was a great to be able to have time to learn about growth and direction and to reaffirm our work here.

I have added some pictures from a recent trip our family took out to the dunes. We didn't go there this week, but they represent time away and beauty, which we also got to take advantage of this week.

There are times when getting away is important. I said the week was very busy. The kids still had school too. But we were away from the normal. There were not people knocking on our gate, no employees around, we enjoyed air conditioning, we had a tv to watch the rescue of the Chilean miners on which was fascinating, and we had meals in restaurants in the evening. It was good to be away from normal. One thing I have learned living in Niger is the SELF care is very different from being SELFish. We have to care for ourselves and make sure that happens or we will burn out.

Paul and the kids enjoying sand boarding and crazy carpeting down the sand dunes

We talked about training ourselves. In not just the educational and vocational ways either. We talked about taking our relationships with God more seriously, and ourselves a lot less seriously. I loved the comment
You are as close to God right now as you want to be
He is not the one drawing away. He is not too busy or unwilling. We are as close as we want to be. Like most relationships, it is a product of the time we commit to it. The more time we spend seeking, reading, praying, etc the closer we will grow. Yet it is only us who sets that limit or barriers in our way.

We talked about 4 different things that keep us from growing. In a nutshell they are:

1) Comparing loves. What do we love more than Him? Money, our family, our friends, our Pride, our comfy homes, easy access to amenities, our job, our own self imaage of what we should be? What do we put before Him?

2) Competing failures. Are we chained to our past and failures and constantly telling ourselves we can't do it or will fail again and thus afraid to go and try?

3) Compromising Mission. What pulls us away from our calling?

4) Comparing paths. How often do we compare our journey with that of others? Our fortune or misfortune against others? Our carnal nature makes us want to either have the ease that others are experiencing or for them to have the same difficulty that we deal with. Comparing with others is a slippery slope my friends.

And we also got the chance to talk specifically about our development work with our National Director of Compassion. I will ponder more on it in a later post, but one thing we were all reminded of was that our development work is not to OPEN a door through which to share God's love or his stories. We should never view it as a means to another end or another goal. This work IS His love, it IS His story. All by itself. It is ENOUGH for us to show His love even if we can never vocalize more. Not that we will never try or succeed to share vocally, but that is not our end goal. LOVE is enough.

As the sun rises for another day, I am hoping you all get the chance to take some time for SELF care. Draw nearer to your source of strength, put on His armour, and prepare for battle.


La famille Marineau said...

Merci Chantelle,
C'est un compte-rendu encourageant.
Que cette nouvelle semaine, qui est déjà commencé, soit aussi rempli de paix et de proximité avec Jésus.
À bientôt


Judy said...

Thank you so much Chantelle for your insights! I so like what you said also about sharing Christ's love without an "ulterior" motive.

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Shawn Vickar said...

Love your stories and your writing Chantelle, however, from a passing look at the National Director's comments/thoughts you've included here, I guess I look forward to & would encourage your further thoughts in a subsequent post.