I have to be honest and say that I’m one of those people who has always hated New Years. For me it’s just another day that people are extra friendly with greetings and make promises to themselves which they start and fail multiple times before they even reach the end of January. On the last day of 2017 I was thankful for an end of year message speaking on the new year and how the Lord created beginning and ending periods as ways to mark time and to give us check points that we can measure. The message was a good one for me and I can honestly say I went into 2018 without the usual dread an disgust of having to give fake Happy New Year greetings.
Ibra and I started the year off in church. In the states this is how we always started the new year but maybe 9pm to 1am service with some nice breakfast to follow. Uganda is a little different because service was from 8pm to 6am, no breakfast just a fast break to reach home for the bed (and no we didn’t get there at 8 but more like 10:30 only to find the church packed-thus we gained a front-front row seat.)
Thankfully there are different worship groups and artists so you remain active. My worship team was scheduled for 2:30am and 5am, you know, just around the times I’d be ready to nod off. The church theme for the year is ‘ Arise & Shine’, while my personal goal is to strive for excellence in all areas of my life. I’d felt very pressed to attend the first church workshop of the year not realizing until I arrived that the theme of the day was focused on excellence. It was a great confirmation that I’m on the right track. One of the many points made that day “Anyone can be average, why not be excellent?”
We both headed back to work on the 4th. The first week of school was Spiritual Emphasis week and the theme was Having an Attitude of Christ. It’s true that having an attitude of Christ is a command but God being God, allows us to make the choice of whether we’re going to live out the command. We choose our attitude in every situation, it can be nasty and negative or pleasant and positive. An attitude of Christ also means having an attitude of humility and obedience. Humility in knowing that we are bankrupt without the help of Christ and that we are each created and designed in his image. Spiritual Emphasis week is planned for the students but I believe it was a gift meant just for me and the words from the week have kept me going. Spiritually I believe it’s been a good first month.
Work wise it’s been busy from the first day back but each day I choose my attitude. There’s still lots to do as we’ve start staff recruitment season, have two major PTF events that I’m working with, sorting maternity leave coverage for multiple ‘buns in ovens’ and all the other day to day ‘sparks’ that pop up. I am glad to say that the environment is much better and I believe prayer is indeed changing things. Keep them coming friends, keep them coming.
Along with a change in the work atmosphere the month has been about an ever changing hair style. This post Locs, natural hair thing can be more than a challenge. My aunt said she feels bad for Ibra because she’s sure he never knows what to do expect next. If only I had a Sally’s beauty supply store or a little Asian hair market around the block.
Finally I have to say that January has felt more like a December. Lots of Christmas cards arrived in Kenya and Uganda. I was blessed with great gifts from parents in Kenya, some gifts from home and my mind has been in a place of cheer this first month of the year. For that and so many other things, I am thankful while still being prayerful.
I pray that your New Year has started grand and if it hasn’t gone according to your plan I’ll remind you to stand and declare that this year YOU CAN just add some actions to your plan.
A great weekend in Kenya
Christmas cards in January
Spiritual Emphasis week
Gifts designed just forme
Places of prayer
-staff recruitment; people with a heart of serving at a not for profit, missionary minded school, to be at full staff before June 1. If you know of good teachers send them my way. Vacancy list and application materials at http://www.heritage.co.ug under the Serve tab
-wisdom and discernment in everything I do
-the ever throbbing an swelling ankle that’s requiring 6 more weeks of flats. I’m soooo over this
-focus, the ability to properly prioritize, to use my time efficiently and effectively without having to spend long nights at the office
-a good working environment