Three Things About One Word: Anticipation

This post is inspired by Compassion’s writing assignment for Blog Month

Anticipation.  Depending on your circumstances it can be a wonderful feeling or it can leave a knot in your stomach.   When my family & I choose over 5 1/2 years ago to sponsor Mwajuma Athumani in Tanzania, I had no idea the journey it would lead me on.  There are many words that weave themselves into the journey:  poverty, hope, compassion, perspective.  The word that is in the forefront of my mind right now though is anticipation.

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Six months from today I will be standing on Tanzanian soil.  I will be the furthest from my home that I have ever been,  in a different country, on a different continent, in a different hemisphere.   Some days it seems a bit distant, but then there are days like yesterday.  I opened up the mailbox yesterday and in it was a package from the US Department of State….my passport.  What had been a “blah” day for me turned the moment I held the small blue booklet in my hand.  Anticipation.  In my hand was a concrete reminder of where I would be in 6 short months.  I immediately thought of Mwajuma and Africa.  What would I see there?  Will it break my heart?  What will her reaction be to meeting me…..what will mine be?  Anticipation.

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We currently financially sponsor two children through Compassion, and I am a correspondent sponsor to six more.  Eight children whom I write to.  Eight children whose letters I eagerly await.  Every day when I open the mailbox part of me wants to see one of Compassion’s yellow envelopes.  Of course I know that one will not be there every day, but I can’t help hoping.  Anticipation.  I wonder about my sponsored children.   I’ll admit I haven’t always been the best letter writer.   Then I wonder, “Do they sit on the edge of their seats hoping that their name is called when letters are passed out?”.  It drives me to write more frequently.  It breaks my heart when I hear stories about children who are sponsored who never receive a letter from their sponsor family.  Do they eagerly wait week after week, month after month, only to be disappointed.  Anticipation.

I have also wondered about those children who are still waiting for a sponsor.  How long did our Mwajuma have to wait before she was told Heidi Hackney from America had chosen her.  How many days went by while little Fai waited in Thailand for her sponsor.  Anticipating.  How did they react when they were told.  Did they laugh?  Did a big smile come across their beautiful faces?  Were their families relieved?  Was it a joyous occasion like this one in Ghana?  I don’t know.  All I know was their waiting was over.

What about the thousands still waiting.  Does the anticipation leave them hopeful or weary?  Some have been waiting for over a year.  “When will I be chosen?”  Anticipation.

You can turn a child’s anticipation from that of “When will someone choose me?” to “When will my first letter arrive?”  You can help breathe hope into their life.  Thirty-eight dollars a month is such a small amount to help accomplish that.   There are thousands waiting today….waiting with anticipation.

Sponsor a child today!

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You are Beautiful!

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It’s a true statement.  Not because of a number on a scale or the size of your clothes.  It’s not true because your skin in flawless or a certain shade and tone.  It has nothing to do with the shape of your nose or the width of your hips.

You may be in peak physical condition, or you may be working toward better health.  Everything may be firm and fit or a bit on the jiggly and wiggly side.  Your skin may be smooth or it may be wrinkled with time.  Your parts may be in all the right places, shifted with the years, or maybe even fell victim to the wrath of cancer.  It doesn’t matter, because the above statement is still true.  It’s true for this reason:  God created YOU, and God does not create junk.  No one can be a better you than you can.  There’s also no use in trying to be someone else.  They’ve already got that covered.

Far too often we, women especially, fall victim to the trap of comparison.  If I only I was thinner like her.  I wish my home was decorated like hers.  She has such great style.  Her kids are better behaved than mine.  The world shoves it in our faces daily with magazine covers that are airbrushed beyond belief, quick fixes to all our diet and fitness issues, and countless ways to be more organized, better styled, and happier.

There is value in working to improve areas of our life, but when we play the comparison game, no one wins.  We will either beat ourselves up feeling inferior or we will fall victim to a prideful attitude while making light of someone else’s weakness.  There is no winner there.

Remember God made you and he made you beautiful.  We may not always act beautifully; we may have things happen to us that are not beautiful, but God made you to be you and no one else.  For this day….Be Beautiful…because you are!

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11a