Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Post-It Notes

After the printing press, I consider the Post-It to be one of the greater inventions in the last millennia (by the way - it took me so many tries to spell that word, I gave up and looked it up on Wikipedia). Anyone who has been in my office knows there are post-it notes all over my desk, computer monitor, bulletin board, everywhere. They are my ever extending to-do list. My office mate thought they had quite over-run my monitor so he put up a post-it reminder to "Clean up post-its"... it remains on the monitor as I have not completed the task.

I have come to realize, however, that as good as to-do lists are (I would lose my mind and forget everything if I didn't write things down), Satan can really use them against me. It doesn't matter how late I crawl in bed at night, I will still have not completed all the tasks I think I should have. There will still be emails to write, bills to pay, dishes to clean, laundry to do, phone calls to make, etc. For a while this has been a burden on me, I have felt like I'm not being a good steward of my time or otherwise failing at my tasks. But I'm now recognizing that these are some of Satan's lies - "you're not good enough" "you still have things to do" "you are a failure of a leader".

So recently I have been working to accept the knowledge that I will always have a to-do list, but I must not not permit it to consume me. I am no longer allowing myself to send email, pay bills, check my bank account, or do anything related to work or ministry roles in my bedroom. This may seem a bit goofy, but it creates an important boundary. When I go upstairs at night, I am no longer allowed to work on things on my to-do list. I am only allowed to spend time with God, relax, read books for pleasure, and sleep. This makes my room a sanctuary and my quiet times have been infinitely more fruitful since I have instituted this policy.

I'm sure there are more of us task-oriented people out there... what do you do to prevent your to-do list from becoming a monster?

Monday, April 20, 2009

South Africa Support

Hey my very small blog family =)

So I want to share with you the same offer I shared with much of my other church family. Please join with the amazing work God is doing in South Africa.

Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings! I hope life is treating you well. For those of you that may not know, I am now fully settled in Virginia Beach, working for the Navy and living in a house with three great women. I have also gotten involved with Coastal Community Church, a church that has committed to serving both inside and outside our local community.

We have a sister church in Pretoria, South Africa called Eastside Community Church that we have been partnering with for many years.
Eastside supports programs that work with the poor, teach and support kids, and build solid relationships among the local community. My boyfriend, Greg, left in January to serve for a year with Eastside as a soccer coach for inner-city kids.

This July, I have an opportunity to lead a team to Pretoria to help serve alongside Greg and the other members of Eastside. For two weeks, we’re going to get to build relationships with the inner-city kids of Sunnyside School through sports, tutoring, and arts programs. Eastside also owns 120 acres of land outside of Pretoria that they’re working to turn into an orphanage for adolescent boys. Some of our time in Pretoria will be working on restoring an old retreat center on that land to make it a suitable space for the boys. Two members of our team are also nurses and will work to provide free medical support and education for the local children.

Our team is really excited about going to serve, but all of us have been making sacrifices to be able to go. For some, this will be their first trip outside the country and there is a lot of fear involved; for others, these two weeks expend all their vacation time for a year and this certainly will not be a vacation.

I humbly come to you to ask if you would consider supporting our team. I have struggled with whether or not to send this letter, but I hope you will understand my heart in writing to you. We have a team with willing hearts and the time to go, but don’t have the finances to get there. Your support of our team makes you a part changing lives in Pretoria. The programs we are going to help with are giving kids safe places to grow up, a chance at a more stable future, and an open door for them to meet the incredible Savior I have come to know.

So first, I ask that you would pray for us. All the money in the world could not make our trip successful if God has not paved the way. Please pray for our team that we might be unified and have strength to serve the kids we will meet. Also, please pray for Eastside and the people they are reaching in Pretoria.

Lastly, I ask if you would consider supporting us financially. Believe me, I understand that we are in an economy that does not a lot of spare room in a budget, but even a small amount is another step towards getting our team to South Africa.

Thanks for always supporting me.
With much love and blessings,

For more pictures or more information, you can follow Greg's blog and see some great pictures at