Thoughts on a year – part 2

“…five hundred twenty-five thousand

Six hundred minutes

cupcake and cande

How do you measure

A year in the life?

~ Seasons of Love, Rent

How do you celebrate leaving everything familiar, paring down possessions to the essentials and must-haves to weigh no-more than a total of 150 lbs, and move it all 8000 miles away?  I’m not sure, I’ll let you know when I figure that out.  However, I do know how to thank God for bringing new friends and community into my life.

Highlight # 2 – Community

I’ve learned over the last few years that God has given me a different idea of home than most other people.  For me to feel at home depends upon whether or not I am part of a community instead of identifying with a particular geographical location.  Its about people not a place.

As the song from Rent says, you can measure a year

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights

In cups of coffee

In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

Those sunsets and midnights are only special enough to be counted when they are shared with someone.  Cups of coffee and laughter are made even more noteworthy when they are enjoyed with a friend.

Precious & I

I despaired a bit of having real friendships when I came, because of the awesome community of friends and family I had worked so hard to develop back in the States.  I don’t know why I worried, because God has (as usual) proven Himself to be so faithful to provide me with what I need.  It has taken forever awhile, but in the last few months I’ve met some great new friends, and people who had been ‘just acquaintances’ have become very dear.

Living in my sweet spot, becoming part of a community.  Yes indeed, its been a very good year.

Thoughts on a year – part 1

cupcake & candles

“Five hundred twenty-five thousand, Six hundred minutes, How do you measure, measure a year?” ~ Seasons of Love, from RENT

I’m rapidly approaching my one-year anniversary of living in Nairobi, Kenya.  A few friends have been asking me about this past year and what are some of the highlights and lessons I’ve learned.  And seeing as I’ve been wondering about what to write about, now that I’m running out of things about what I do, I figured this is as good an idea as any.

Highlight #1 – Finding my sweet spot

I listened to a podcast of a message by Pastor Steven Furtick (Elevation Church) a couple weeks ago that really helped me to cement this in my heart.  The message was entitled “The Prodigy in Me: The Paradox of Prodigy pt. 4 (you can get it on iTunes) and one of the points was that fact that when we are using the spiritual gifts that God has given us for the purposes He created us for then we are in our sweet spot.  However as much as He uses us in our “sweet spot” He will not leave us in our comfort zone.  Too often we confuse the two.  His call in our lives is always in our sweet spot and always beyond our comfort zone.

dart & bullseye

The sweet spot is the place that lies in between the safety of our comfort zone (the place we believe we have the ability) and the place of false expectation (where others may believe we can do it, or what we wish we could do).

So, how is this a highlight for my year in Kenya?  God has shown me that even though many times I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, somehow He gives me the grace and strength to get it done.  I’m able to use the talents and gifts He’s given me to make a difference to people and ministries here that are affecting nations and increasing the Kingdom of God.  Wow!  He’s using me to do that.  And that’s a really sweet feeling.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” I Peter 4:10