Friday, January 31, 2014

Reflections of a Grateful Heart

As many of you know I had the opportunity to go home for Christmas for about three weeks. I had a wonderful time there! I was able to spend a lot of time with my family and a few close friends. I made sure I had lots of time with my new niece Charley and my nephew Cutler. They are growing up so fast and it is difficult to miss it.

Being home was amazing but it was also very challenging for me. When you are away for a while you can in some ways forget what you are giving up at home. I loved being able to hop in the car at my parent’s house and be at either of my sibling’s houses in ten minutes. I loved being able to enjoy a home cooked meal with my family. I loved hoping in the car and driving to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. I loved meeting friends for a coffee at Starbucks and hearing about what God is doing in their lives! I loved taking Cutler and Charley to the park to play and feed the ducks. These are all pretty simple things but can be the things you miss most when you’re thousands of miles from home.

On January 11th as I went through security to begin my journey back to Congo, waving goodbye to my family, I began to weep. I wept for the days I would be away from my family. I wept thinking of Charley being 13 months old and probably walking the next time I see here. I grieved the loss of time with my family and friends. I think this is all part of the process of what God has called me to in this season.

Pigs to go with our Three Little Pigs Story
Making a tasty snack! I just love this picture! 
Even with all this being said I am still extremely grateful to be serving in the Congo with Mercy Ships. Does it come at a cost? It sure does! Is the cost worth it? Absolutely! On my journey back to the ship I began to think of the 4 first grade boys from Australia, South Africa, England and America that God has entrusted to me here on the Africa Mercy. I began to smile thinking of the incredible opportunity he has given me to teach them about Him, encourage them and to call greatness out of them as they serve alongside their families here in Africa. I began to think of the new friendships that I am building and the people from around the world that I get to walk in community with and serve the people of Africa. Some days I can’t believe the life I get to live here. When I watch the sun set over the ocean I think about how amazing it is that I am finally walking out a calling God placed on my life in high school. With tears in my eyes I embrace the challenges and rejoice over the goodness of my God!

1 comment:

  1. Shea,

    I have been enjoying reading your blog for the last few days and was encouraged to find a blog from an educator. My wife and I have taught for the last 24 years in Alaska and are marrying our youngest daughter off in a few weeks. I noticed that there was an opening for an elementary teacher onboard for next year and would love to chat (email) about your thoughts, etc.

    I have taught everything from K-8 as well as 6 years as a teacher mentor. My wife homeschooled our daughters K-12 and has also been working as a tutor / intervention specialist for the last 5 years. We have been involved working with a school in rural Uganda for the last 6 years so Africa is dear to our hearts.

    Would love to hear from you ...

    Larry Mitchell