Thursday, March 3, 2016

Spiritual Journey Thursday - ADMIRE

 I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly basis.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
For the next couple of months, we are writing about each other's One Little Words.  Please join us!  If you have a One Little Word this year and would like to explore the spiritual aspect of it, let me know, and I will add you to the schedule!  Today's OLW is Julieanne Harmatz  word, ADMIRE. 
     I have a lot going on right now.  All of it is good, but it is keeping me extremely busy, and it is hard not to get overwhelmed.  I have many things on my to-do list, and even though I'm marking them off, it keeps growing.  In the midst of trying to keep my head above water, I read this blog post by Donald Miller called How I Learned to Not Be Overwhelmed.  The title grabbed me, of course, and I identified with the very first line: "One of the main problems I deal with is trying to manage too many projects. And most of those projects are big."  Here were his main points:
1. List my major projects.
2. Write down what I want each of them to look like when they are completed.
3. Break each of them down into their minor parts.
4. Work daily, like an ant, knowing that each little sentence, each little paragraph is moving me closer toward the final vision.
      Not rocket science, but I thought of Salva's uncle in A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park when he tells Salva, who is overwhelmed by the journey he has to undertake, “One step at a time, one day at a time, just today, just this day to get through.”   Which brings this full circle.
     One of the big projects in my life has been our school's #ReadWalkWater initiative, a social action plan we've help develop with our 6th graders who read A Long Walk to Water every fall.  This amazing New York Times best seller has inspired us to raise money for the past three years for Water for South Sudan, Inc. in order to bring clean water to villages in South Sudan.  Together with our community, our efforts have resulted in over $35,000 in monies raised.  We've helped build three wells.  As a result, our school recently found out that we won the Iron Giraffe Super Challenge, which means we win a visit from Salva Dut himself at the end of March!
     We are excited and honored by this amazing event.  There is a lot of preparation that goes in to getting ready.  Earlier this week, I volunteered to contact a local hotel to find out if they would donate two rooms for two nights for Salva and a WFSS staff member.  The hotel is convenient to our schools and the compensated lodging would save the organization money.  My husband had a contact there through business, which made it easier to approach them.  The phone call went well, and as I was checking off that item on my "to-do" list I realized I hadn't stopped and prayed.  The person I had spoken to said she had to check with her manager and would get back to me.  I've known that God has been an integral part of this #ReadWalkWater endeavor.  Because we are a public school, I haven't been able to acknowledge that when talking about it within that realm.  After the phone call, though, I knew I needed to stop and put the task in God's hands.
     A short two hours later I heard back from the hotel, and they graciously donated the rooms.  Not only that, but they put them on the concierge floor so they could enjoy complimentary breakfasts.  Wow.  The word ADMIRE now comes into play.  I admire how God can take anything we ask and not only give it to us, but give us one better.  I know it doesn't always seem that way. Sometimes we ask for things we don't get.  At least not right away.  But I do know something about God.  He is working everything together for good, whether we see it or not.  He's done that so many times throughout my life.  And some of the things I'm not sure about yet, whether He's working it out or not, I can look at the perennials starting to emerge underneath the partially frozen ground and know...He's got this. 

January 14: Carol Varsalona - BELIEVE
January 21:  Margaret Simon - PRESENT
January 28:  Michelle Haseltine - SELAH
February 4:  Justin Stygles - (Blind) FAITH
February 11: Leigh Ann Eck - INTENT
February 18:  Irene Latham - DELIGHT
February 25:  Violet Nesdoly - MINDFULNESS
March 3:  Julieanne Harmatz - ADMIRE
March 10:  Holly Mueller - WAIT
March 17:  Linda Kulp - SIMPLIFY
March 24: Doraine Bennett - SHINE
March 31: Donna Smith - BOLD


  1. Holly, I can relate to so many parts of your wonderful post this morning. I need to leave more in God's hands to find rest as noted in the song you chose. “One step at a time, one day at a time, just today, just this day to get through.” There is so much possibility in knowing that the Lord's hands are holding the weight of my to do list. What a glorious way to start my morning. Thank you.

  2. "I can look at the perennials starting to emerge underneath the partially frozen ground and know...He's got this." Beautiful witness! "He's got this." And your works of mercy are a beautiful witness, too, of His Goodness through your school project. I totally commiserate at not being able to expressly witness His role at school, so I celebrate His Providence through your post. Thank you, and God bless you!

  3. I admire the work you have done for this project. Amazing! And God has been an integral part of every step, whether or not He is acknowledged.

  4. Thanks for this project. It helps to solidify... and quantify maybe even... the meanings for these words in my daily walk. I am more conscious of them now and often in a week, they will be brought up somehow in my thinking or actions. It's been amazing. It is an admirable undertaking, this project!

  5. I admire you, Holly, for keeping so many balls in the air! God will continue to keep you focused and calm as you keep on leaning on Him. Blessings on your project!

  6. I echo everyone's sentiment. Congrats on your blessings and the project. Wow, God is good. ;)