[ But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. – Psalm 73:28 ]
Days here are long, hot, and full of love. Each day I know will be good because the Lord has made it, I’m just never sure what will be good in the day as Papa loves to surprise me. Keeping a yes in my spirit at all times is something I strive to do, many times the best moments come when I least expect them. I’m learning to be interruptible at all times for Christ. To always be willing to serve and looking for ways to share love. Each day is filled with ordinary moments that I find the sweetest joy in. Each day is different. Each day is precious. Each day is a day my soul is grateful for.
Most days my morning starts with waking up around 5:30 to catch the sunrise. I climb out of my top bunk, careful not to wake my sisters and head straight to the coffee pot. I then wake Sam up and we grab our bibles, coffee, and make our way to the shore. After spending time at the ocean we walk back to the house where we enjoy breakfast. We live for waffle days ya’ll! There’s always strong coffee brewed, eggs, and some fresh fruit laid out. We eat and then meet as a team. We center ourselves on Christ each morning together, praying about the day and spending some time in the word.
We split up into two groups each day for morning rotation. Some days I get to head to a local school, run around with energetic kiddos, and feed them a hearty meal. Other days I spend hanging out loads of laundry on the line, watering plants, painting, picking up the house. Sometimes mornings look like heading to a local women’s prison and preaching the gospel. Sometimes I plan for upcoming events whether it’s Beauty for Ashes (women’s retreat), or a basketball tournament. I’m learning to turn every moment back to the Lord with open hands and an open heart. He moves boldly, even in the ordinary moments of life.
When noon time rolls around I eat my plate of Filipino food and enjoy. It’s usually chicken adobo and rice – the best! Some days lunch is eaten outside while cooking lugaw for the afternoon feeding, or lunch is eaten around the table laughing with my sisters. Usually after lunch we have siesta time. You’ll either catch me in the word, taking a good old nap somewhere I can feel a breeze, reading a good book, or just resting with some music. Sometimes I don’t have time to rest during this time and it involves more ministry prep. Either or, it fills my soul.
Afternoon adventures change too. Sometimes I get to head out on another feeding, sometimes I paint, sometimes I participate in a women’s bible study, sometimes I just walk around a community continuing to build relationships with friends, sometimes I pick up trash on the beach, sometimes I do some more laundry or fold more sheets. Sometimes I end up in a different community teaching street children about Jesus by drawing bible stories in the sand. Each of these moments I stop and take a breath. I remember everything I do is purposeful and I let every breath I take be praise to Him. Everything is done with thanksgiving to Jesus.
Around 4pm all my sisters are back at the house. Children pile into our front yard to play on the playground, brothers come over to play basketball and I get to run around barefoot just like a kid. This is one of my favorite times of the day because I get to love on the little children, play an intense game of ball with the bros, or just sit with some little sisters chatting about life. I often spend this time playing hard though, more often than not I’m covered in dirt and sweat by the end of the night heading in for dinner time. I usually will take a quick cold shower and then sit down for dinner with the family. We then end our nights together in community. Sometimes we spend our nights worshipping Papa, encouraging and calling one another higher in Christ, challenging one another in the word, having a game night, just talking about our day, or sharing what He’s teaching us. Most nights I head to bed early exhausted from the day, physically tired but filled to the brim inside.
Living in the Philippines during this season is absolute sweetness. I sometimes miss things about the United States. It sometimes isn’t always easy. I often miss my loved ones. Yet I know that this is exactly where I’m meant to be. That He has given me peace over it all because that’s who He is. That He fills my body with energy when I wake each morning and gives me strength to run my race with endurance. I’m planting seeds, harvesting, and making strides with Papa for the Kingdom. I’m finding adventure in the ordinary moments and finding joy in everything. He is all things good, He fills my days with kindness and mercy. I pray you consistently spend each moment with Jesus, turning a heart towards Him at all times. Doing life with your best friend is unlike anything else.