And really, that IS a question I have to ask about other to-do’s that are on my perpetual “list”. Do you relate?
Do I do my laundry or sleep?
Do I go through that huge stack of mail or do I sleep?
Do I weed in my OWN garden or do I sleep?
Do I come back to the job site and pull an all-niter (to avoid the heat of the sun) after I get off of my “paying job” or do I sleep?
Right now, Empowering Gardeners is in the middle of installing a community garden at our local Armory and Community Center and YMCA. We had a great first work weekend. In those two days, we got our hardscaping in place and the beds built with the help of a fantastic team of volunteers that included the hard-working, big-hearted Lowe’s Heroes volunteers.
The week following our first two work days, the weather turned grueling. After not having any rain worth mentioning for two weeks, we had some severe storms and record high temps and dangerous humidity which has continued for the last 12 days.
Those two factors have contributed to a HUGE drop in volunteer assistance with this project. Everyone wants to help, but it hardly seems wise to put health at risk in order to volunteer. And when there is so much storm damage to clean up, it is difficult to justify investing in building and beautifying other places when help is needed just to clean up and repair damage to existing homes and personal property. In fact, the third planned work day (this past Saturday, June 30) we had to cancel our plans because of another storm that blew through the morning we were scheduled to work.
When weather and life wreck our carefully laid plan and cripple our volunteer forces so that we are not able to forge full-steam ahead with a project; there is only one thing to do- keep moving toward our goal of completion one small task at a time.
For the leader of a project (in this case, me) completion can seem like an elusive mirage, shimmering beautifully just beyond my reach, no matter how many days and hours I spend completing one task at a time. I can be paralyzed by the sheer magnitude of the work that still remains and I can be intimated by the realization that there are many tasks yet to be completed that are beyond the scope of my own abilities But it is here that I feel God inviting me to look at things from his perspective and then to speak TRUTH into this situation.
I can address God and say “God, here are my problems” or I can address my problems and say “Problems, here is my God”. Neither approach is “wrong” but the latter helps me personally to refocus with a more healthy perspective.
There is no problem I face, no project I am responsible for, no lack of ability that is insurmountable and not able to be overcome and used to ultimately glorify God. To Him, the mountains are just texture; the mirage is a reflection of His grace that I am blessed to see, and the issues I cannot solve in my own ability; an opportunity to witness His provision at work.
I’m sharing today that while I haven’t been able to spend time blogging all the beautiful moments of timely provision; God has provided. We wont schedule another work day on this project because to do so takes weeks of preparation and we have a July 13 deadline to meet. Even without being asked directly, there have been volunteers who have just showed up at the work site and braved the soaring temps and worked alongside me for a few hours at a time. My husband has helped day in and day out; being an invaluable help. We even enjoyed the help of a group of (10) soldiers from the 585th Ohio Army National Guard Military Police this last week; turning ground and hauling in mulch that God also provided.
I marvel also at His provision of my personal ability to keep pressing on. Anyone who knows me well knows I cannot tolerate the heat and humidity and yet somehow God has given me the ability to work 4-12 hours each day in this weather without suffering from heat exhaustion or crippling fatigue. He has given my children a cool place to rest and play while I work. He has provided every thing we have needed to complete each task in a timely manner. And this reminds me again of the importance of simply asking God “What do you want us to do?” and then going where He directs. Doing as He directs.
People have asked us “Why the Armory? Why the YMCA?” I have since realized many reasons “Why” but in the beginning it was simply because God provided the exact vision and the exact location and the exact persons to approach. He said; “Go. Do. Now.”
And that, combined with the faith to take that first small step, was enough.
This was and is His project, not Empowering Gardeners; certainly not mine. We are blessed to be able to be the group He has chosen to do this work. We are blessed to watch Him open every door and provide for every need; on time, every time. We are humbled and blessed to realize anew that without the passion and care of all the other volunteers that He has also called to this project; nothing would be accomplished. It takes every one of us doing our specific part to make something big happen.
We thank all of our wonderful volunteers. We thank God for His faithfulness and His provision.
Today I blog, do laundry, go through the mail and play with my kids. Heck I might even pull a weed in my own yard. Tonight I sleep.
God is good.