Thursday, May 30, 2013

Because I Prayed For A Blessing

     Now, I know I said that this blog wasn't for poetry, but bear with me, this is where I feel this story really begins.

 I Want A Blessing
 8:51 AM 10/18/2010 
I really want a blessing, whatever You may choose.
 I'm ready for a blessing, even if I have to loose.
I really want a blessing, whatever it may be.
I'm ready to grow, please put Your hand on me.
I really want a blessing, whatever I must do.
 I want to be better; help me grow in You.
I really want a blessing, whatever it will take.
I want to learn about You, and never to be fake.
I really want a blessing, whatever be the cost.
 I want to be like You, and give love to lost.
I'm not asking for pain or hardship, but still I want to grow.
Whatever it takes to get there, You'll give me grace to go.

    I was fifteen, and this was my prayer to God. My dad had recently said in one of his sermons that God has blessing for us, but often we don't ask Him for them. Not long after I prayed this prayer, my dad brought up the subject of me perhaps working at a camp for the summer.

    Let me tell you, ha, I was scared of the thought of leaving my family for the summer and going to a completely unfamiliar place. I'd never been away from my family for any longer than a week, and the times I had been away it was always with people I knew well. Besides me being nervous though, there wasn't much reason not to apply, so I filled out the paper work... for awhile, mentally, I didn't consider it actually happening. Imagine my surprise when I was asked to come work for the summer...

   By the time I left, I was sixteen and was assigned to work in the kitchen. I learned so much in that first summer at Grace Adventures. (Enough to probably write several blog posts on.) Many times I was forced from my comfort zone and had to step up and do things that I found hard. Those I worked with supported and encouraged me to let others see the real me... to have fun and laugh and, while doing my best, not always take everything I did so seriously. ;)

I went back again in 2012 and grew in other ways... patience was a big one... accepting that things weren't always going to work out the way I wanted them to was another. The ministry of Grace Adventures blessed my life so much... and it all started with the little innocent prayer of, "God, I want a blessing."

    Understand this - if you honestly tell God that you want to do things for Him, you'll be amazed at the doors He opens. Be careful what you pray for.

   In February of this year, as I began to try and figure out what I was going to do for the summer, I asked God for a blessing. I told Him I wanted a way to serve Him and be challenged, and if He'd open doors I would go through them - whether that meant a third summer at camp, or something totally new. A few days later my dad brought home an application to the Board Walk Chapel in New Jersey. (How does my dad end up doing these things - I don't know. o.O)

     Again, like the first time I got an answer to this kind of prayer, I was scared. 'God? You want me to try this?' I already knew the answer; I had prayed and He had responded. There was somewhere between a mix of awe of Him and doubts in myself as I said yes...

     In March I found out my application was accepted, and began raising support and planning for the trip. That was when I had to stop mentally thinking of it as a 'maybe' kind of thing, and throw myself into the fact that this was coming up and would be here fairly soon.

     Perhaps you're a little bit curious about what I'll actually be doing. Here are the goals of the chapel:

    It is the goal of this work to glorify God by proclaiming the Gospel so that people are brought to Christ and added to the church. Specific goals for this year:
  • To train 25 people in the work of evangelism
  • To distribute 10,000 tracts
  • To distribute Bibles and Christian books
  • To present the Gospel through personal contact to a least 2,000 people
  • To have our home missionaries follow-up meaningful contacts
   So, I'll be learning to evangelize (there will be two weeks of training) and implementing what I learn. A Night On The Boards, is two articles that give a "brief look at what it is like to talk with people on the Wildwood Boardwalk". I will also be trying to find a part time job for during the day.
 Tomorrow, I'll be getting on a plane and be off to start this new adventure. I'm still a little bit apprehensive, but I know God is going to do good things through this. I asked Him for a blessing - I can't wait to see the ways He challenges, grows, and teaches me over the next 12 weeks.

~Ophelia - Marie

(I will be posting on my blog while I'm away since I've stock piled several posts. :) )

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Seeing Beauty In The World Like A Child

Ah, yes. Exactly.
     Children think so many things are beautiful, just for the fact that they see beauty in them. They look at the things that most 'grown ups' would say don't have much value, or are a bother, and they enjoy them. They make odd crafts and pick fist fulls of weeds and expect everyone to hold them up with as much delight as they do. To a child, the monetary value of a thing isn't important. They value things for what they see in them, not for what everyone says.
An odd shaped rock picked up on a walk is something to be treasured, not left where it is.
The (often scraggly) feathers found lying on the ground should be tucked into the hair, or used to make a craft, not thrown away as "germy".
Every yellow dandelion should be picked and put in a vase, and every missed flower that turns into a puffball should be blown and wished upon, or gathered to throw about the yard as 'snow', - never uprooted and killed.
Oil rainbows in the parking lot should be admired, not hurried away from.
Mud is something to make "food" out of, or round balls, or to mark one's face as an Indian, not to be avoided at all costs.

   Eventually though, children grow older, and most of them lose that wonder and curiosity. It's sad, really, that that is a part of us we often lose... Those examples above were me, once upon a time. I can still remember the times I saw almost everything as beautiful, fun and exciting... when I collected rocks from the yard, picked dandelions and goldenrod to put in vases, and planted any stray plants into containers to care for. (I don't think I'll ever forget when I was about six and I asked a neighbor if he knew what kind of plants I had and he told me they were just weeds...) Yes, by most standards those things weren't as valuable as I thought, but I took joy in them.

Matthew 18:2-4
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

     Oh, to see the world with childlike faith and wonder. I'm not talking about being naive. I'm talking about appreciating that what God has made is beautiful, and trusting that because my heavenly Father says something, it must be true... to not worry so much about the future: to think of it, plan for it, but never worry because 'the One in the front seat of the car is doing the driving'... I want to live in delight of the world around me that God has created, and never stop marveling at simple things.

   I want to be someone to enjoys the little things in life... who takes the time to marvel at the rain, or the sunrise, just as if it's the first time I've seen them. I pray I never grow up so much that I don't take joy in the beauty of the world around me.

~Ophelia - Marie

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Just One Thing - Shared Post

        Today I'd like to introduce you to what most of my blog posts are going to look like for the summer (Yes, I know it's not quite summer yet, but I'm currently working on blog posts still. ;) ) - This is what I call a shared post. :D Some great blog posts that have made me think, smile, laugh and wonder, are headed your way! I hope you enjoy!

         This post on my friend, Calista's blog, Blotches and Blunders, made me smile. She says it so well:

         If there was just one thing you could teach people through your life, for the rest of your life, what would it be? What theme would run through every conversation you had? What would people see as your ‘life message’?
If there’s just one thing I can show people for the rest of my life, I want it to be that God is real

                              Click to continue reading...