This is the stuff I've been thinking about lately - and the thoughts can all be traced back to a few pictures that came across my desktop at some time or another in the past few months:
Madagascar from Space
The Africa Mercy from the Air
I've been reminded lots this summer (or winter for those in the Southern Hemisphere) that it's good to look at things a little differently sometimes. It can give one a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of vision. It can help one see things more clearly or give a deeper appreciation for what something is or is not.
Maybe it's just for a few minutes - I've certainly had plenty of moments in our cabin when I've been frustrated and have told my kids that I'll be right back ("I'm taking a quick break and you'll be better off for it.") I step out and usually head up to Deck 7. I stare at the water a while...and talk to God about how I can't do this and how much I need Him. I feel my pulse start slowing down...and I try to listen as He reminds me of who He is and who I am...then I take a deep breath and head back to 6318.
Or maybe it's for part of a day, a day or a weekend....an afternoon with a trusted friend...a night at Calypso....a weekend getaway to Jungle Nofy...
Or maybe it's for a week at St. Simons Island...or a a few months in the States...or a longer season wherever the Lord may be leading you...
It reminds me of those rhythms of grace that He's inviting us to live in...of sabbath rest...of letting Him set the pace...
Dead Poet's Society is one of my favorite movies. In one of the scenes, the teacher played by Robin Williams is inspiring his students to not settle for the status quo - to seize the day and choose to walk through life differently. He climbs on the desk and says "I climbed on the desk to remind myself that we must always look at things from different angles. And the world looks different from up here."
Random glimpse into my childhood: I can remember climbing up on the built in cabinets in my room and standing...and sometimes I would lay on my bed and hang my head upside down off the side and look at my room from that angle - just looking at it differently.
We've certainly been enjoying our change of scenery and the chance to see things from different angles this summer. Our time in the States has been so very refreshing (well, in THE State of Georgia...our travels haven't taken us outside of this lovely land!)(except our few moments in the Miami airport on our way in). We've gotten to connect with so many friends and family - getting to spend unhurried time sharing meals and conversations and coffee...what gifts! We've enjoyed Chick-fil-A and getting to be at Christ Community Church. We've loved getting to spend so much time enjoying nature and a variety of outdoor activities. It's also been wonderful to have special time as "the Cash 5." Time as a family that is not at all crowded with the "regular" stuff of life (school/work/schedules) is a rare and splendid treasure!
We'll be heading back to the Africa Mercy in a few weeks - we'll meet the freshly maintenanced ship in Durban before she sails to Benin. We're excited about all that God has in store for this next field service - for the people of Benin, for the crew, for our family! We're looking forward to experiencing the promise from Isaiah 55:12 of "going out in joy and being led forth in peace!"
We welcome, appreciate and need your prayers (and your friendship and love!). Thank you for continuing to invest in us and in the work our God is doing in, through and on the Africa Mercy!
Surely there will be more to come.