When Your Efforts To Help Feel Anemic

Under my roof the dryer tumbles and rumbles and hums its white noise roar. And on the screen Isaac blows all blustery hues of cool blue and fire-hot red. Water droplets on the camera lense make the picture blurry, foggy, out-of-focus. But the story behind the blur screams loud and clear, even though the sound is muted.

There is suffering and there is pain. There is hurt and there is loss. Lives are being torn upside down and inside out.

Three left my home this morning for school, one for work and one remains. He leaves later to work and live, outside of this nest now. This man/child home only for a visit.

And I have a friend I mentor, she is in middle school. I don’t know how her first week of school is going. I need to call. She goes to the top of my heart to-do list, which is not as it sounds. She is precious. She is precious to me. My heart weeps to know her heart. I feel behind in my intentional relationship building, in my loving and helping her. I will ask to have lunch with her at school this week and pray God redeems the time between the times we’ve had together, in relationship.

Never have I wanted to freeze living like I do now. Stop time. It is too wonderful to go at the current speed. To savor, it needs to be reduced to slower motioned living. But God. But God in His wisdom designed it to move at this very pace and speed. Every day I mark. Every day I burn the memories in. Its the Senior year for one and the Junior year for another. For the senior, a series of lasts.

She said you are right to mark, and remember and burn in your memory and write and photograph it all. And that the fast approaching empty nest will be a glorious other chapter for the Patient One and me.

But for now I balance a wild love for family with a burning desire to serve. To do and be both and. To serve Him by serving my family well and by loving and serving others well. Those hurting deeply. The suffering souls who long for the love of Christ to be shown by the hands and feet of Christ.

And in the breath right next to the breath about savoring and marking, she and I begin to plan our Haiti Mission trip. My heart leaves them. My heart stays with them. I may miss a volleyball game or a basketball game or the joy of a red-letter day in the life of a 2012 American Teen. Or I  may miss the chance to comfort a daughter or console a son.

Monday morning, wheels rolling north down a four lane highway I stopped behind two cars stranded and stopped in the middle of traffic. One was helping the other and I made a third car stopped in the middle of the highway. He said I am trying to help her and I asked what can I do. They had not called the Highway Patrole. The potential for injury and a collision was real. So I stopped and cars honked at me. I was  inconvenient. I was in the way. I was trying to help.

She looked scared and she looked afraid. I asked her several times what can I do? Her eyes pleading for help. He was helping re-start the car. I was trying to help console her heart. I asked her if I could help. And told her I had called the Highway Patrol. I wanted to pile three strangers in my car and take them somewhere. But they were safely waiting in the grass. So I  left once, came back again and checked on her. And said God Bless. In the strange ways of crossing paths with strangers daily, I may never see her beautiful face again. Ever. Our worlds are far apart. Our lives are lived out very differently. I hope my anemic effort to love on her in passing was enough. I long for those quick decisions  made in the middle of honking annoyance to have shown compassion.

September is Blogging Month for Compassion International. I want to make a difference with my writing. I pray that God will use my words to make an impact. How does a mother with a computer and three children, a husband, three dogs and a cat use her words to change hearts.

God can use mothers at home with children. God uses mothers at home with children. And God can use me. It is not because of anything I can do, but my willingness to be obedient and to be used by Him. That is hard to say. It is humbling. While my efforts may feel anemic, His love and His power and His Desire to use each one of  us  for His purposes is supernatural.

And when I in my weakness can’t balance my roles under this roof with my desire to serve beyond my four walls, He in His power strenthens me. Helps balance me. Calls me. Nudges me lovingly. I am weak but He is strong. I have known this. I know this.

I want to go to Haiti in September instead of January. Because now with Isaac the need feels more pressing. More immediate.  I want to call and see if the Doctor heading up the trip has room next month. But unless I hear from Him, I know not to move ahead of His plans and His call.

So I have the privilege of pulling out my little calendar and marking the volleyball and soccer games. And marking the days I plan to write for Compassion. And pray that my young  friend will let me have lunch with her at the middle school.

And  I pray for courage to stop in the middle of the busy road daily to help. To serve in the now. To look in love for ways to show compassion in the now. And to savor like a wafer thin Life-Safer, these moments with my children as we so bitter sweetly move toward an empty nest.

And I pray that I will learn my new neighbor’s first name so that I can be intentional about speaking in love to him. We passed him the other day and I told The Patient One until I learn his name, his name will have to be “Morning”.

There is work to be done at home.

And there are children, like my Compassion Sponsored Child in Peru, who need the love of Jesus today. And there is a grown child waking up in the other room who still needs his mother’s love.

Both, And.

Joining Walk With Him Wednesdays, Unwrapping His Promises and God Bumps and God Incidences.

13 thoughts on “When Your Efforts To Help Feel Anemic

  1. This is such a good and beautiful writing. So much of our lives are centered around ‘us’ and our needs and you have spoken truth about reaching out. Looking beyond our own ‘small’ worlds and stretching ourselves towards others.
    Just remember in this process ministry is always at home first. If your ‘children’ are still home with you there is abundant of opportunities to speak Jesus to them.
    You are doing good. I so enjoy your writings.
    Let us encourage each other in this process as we journey through this thing called ‘life’.

  2. I love thsi reminder that there is work to be done, that despite the *feeling* that it’s useless or not enough, there is work to be done and we just kee going, keep making an effort….keep reaching and pointing to Jesus. This was beautiful, Elizabeth. 🙂

    1. Kris, love partnering with you. Looking so forward to Compassion Blogging Month/September. Yes, yes hoping and praying for a big impact. Know God will honor our efforts and do a work inspite of ourselves. 🙂 Being a partner with Him is such a humble privilege. Those children….their faces cry out for care and love of Jesus.

  3. When we lived in San Diego, we lived within view of an eight lane freeway. I often would stand on my deck, especially when there was an accident or someone was pulled over and prayed. no one knew I was praying in those situations, but the Lord did. He is the One who hears, answers, and comforts. While your attempt to help may have felt anemic, it may have moved major mountains in the life of those people. When yo get to Glory you will see how anemic you never were. DAF

    1. Thank you for this. These words help, so tenderly re-focusing me. How very gracious. God wants my relationship right with Him always before everything else. It really is about relationship. And that’s comfort and gentle conviction to me.

      1. too often, I think, we think only the big and grand gestures make a difference in other’s lives. Personally, though, I know when someone even makes a small comment to me or even notices me it makes not only my day, but my week.

  4. Oh, sweet friend… I just became a Compassion Blogger and couldn’t be more blessed! I’m thrilled to partner alongside you and others as we share a most important word.

    Have a wonderful day…

    1. Yay Stephanie. This is going to be an adventure in many ways. Can’t wait to see what’s in store in serving Him there with you and others. What Joy I have just at the thought of it. My heart breaks when I look at the faces of the Compassion Children. Hoping September will be a BIG month for them with new sponsorships!!!! May God give us both just the right words to say in our posts during September and everyday.

  5. This is beautiful friend. So near to our hearts — serving while not seeing the whole picture and doubting ourself along the way. I’d love to know about your journey as a Compassion Blogger. I wonder if World Vision has bloggers. My little girl is through there. Blessings!

    1. Alene, it makes me one joy-filled blogger to know you were here. Your kind words….. hmm hmm gift. Humbled. I just started blogging with Compassion a few weeks ago. And I am so very excited!!!! Privileged too. I have sponsored a child in Peru thru Compassion as well. I would love to share anything I know with you. Love in Christ, e

  6. SO very excited for your Haiti trip. I apologize if I’ve asked you this before, but where are you headed again, i.e. a certain mission or village? There are a number of my blogger-friends who are headed that way, or have recently gone, and my scatter-brain can’t keep it straight. 😉

  7. SO very excited for your Haiti trip. I apologize if I\’ve asked you this before, but where are you headed again, i.e. a certain mission or village? There are a number of my blogger-friends who are headed that way, or have recently gone, and my scatter-brain can\’t keep it straight.

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