Are you a “glass half-full” kind of person or a “glass half-empty” kind of person”? While I generally endeavor to view life from an optimistic perspective, I confess that I am finding that more difficult these days. Lately, I tend to focus on the empty space in that proverbial glass and on what is missing from life and ministry in this season. Maybe you can relate. Take for example, our community partnerships and ministries. It is fall and the time of year when the Community Center would be normally be bustling with partners moving in and getting settled. Ordinarily, we would be ramping up our ministries and service opportunities in the community as well. In September we would historically recruit and train Reading Partners to serve in our partner schools. We would be are preparing to welcome back over one hundred students and fifty volunteers to our ESL program. Any other year, my calendar would already be filling up with events and opportunities to serve in partner ministries throughout our community. None of those things are currently happening and I miss them all. From this perspective, my glass looks half (maybe even two-thirds) empty. There is another way to look at things, of course. More available space in the Community Center has allowed us to provide space to organizations which had previously been housed in school buildings no longer open to outside events. We have been able to offer a classroom for Dallas Daycare Academy to assist older siblings of their students with online learning. Additionally, I am working closely with a small network of leaders from other churches and nonprofits who have come together to create one central hub
It seems odd to write my last blog for Holy Cross when it has become such a normal rhythm every month. For the past three years, each month I would think about my life and what God was showing me in it and then write it down to share with all of you. This month will be no different. When I first sat down to write this, I had so many thank you’s that I felt like I should have just written the two words over and over again in succession, and it’s because I have been blessed here by so many wonderful people. You all loved a “fresh off the presses” young woman in her first big girl job. You have supported, encouraged, and grown me into the woman I am today. From staff to youth to congregation members, I am so loved. Moreover, I love all of you very much and my heart will miss seeing you every day and week! God has done so much in me through all of you! So, instead of 6 billion “thank you’s”, I will continue to share what God has done in this transition. He has shown me his beautiful timing! Over the past few weeks, I’ve had conversations with students that I could better understand because of what I am going through, leaving a place that has become as much of a home as Albuquerque. I remember some of what they are feeling but without God’s perfect timing, I wouldn’t be able to communicate the gospel and love in such a personal way. God is good, even though goodbyes are really hard. The silver lining is that goodbye really only
T minus 8 days. That is what we have left with our first born before she leaves home and travels more than 800 miles away to begin college. She is ready and I am excited for her. I am grateful for all the ways the Lord has worked in and through her over these past 18 years and I cannot wait to see and hear what He will do next. Many of you have already passed this milestone in your homes and have encouraged and supported us. You also correctly predicted the current situation in our home: a wide range of emotions. Todd and I have been happy and sad, excited and worried, proud and regretful….and all within the last twenty-four hours! One thing that has take us a bit by surprise, however, is the sudden urgency we are experiencing these days to teach our daughter last minute life lessons….all of them…..in eight days. In spite of the eighteen years we have had with her under our roof, we now cannot stop ourselves from cramming into her any and every thing she might possibly need to know. We’ve covered banking, laundry, safety, friendships, budgeting, the importance of working hard and anything else we could think of. Just last night Todd was almost giddy when she came home with a flat tire so he could teach her how to fix it! As her packing pile grows with dorm essentials, so does our need to throw in “just one more thing” she might need to know before she leaves. I’m grateful for this time, but with every day that ticks by I worry about what I might be forgetting to teach her.
I was perusing social media the other day and came across a post that was simply a picture with text that struck me. Unfortunately, it didn’t strike as profound but as wrong. The text read, “This is America… we have a virus…but 99% of those who contract it will survive. We have some racists…but 99.95% of people you meet are color blind and don’t have a racist bone in their body. We have some bad cops… but 99.95% of law enforcement personnel you meet would risk their life for yours. If you choose to see evil then evil is all you will see. As for me I choose to see the good in everything. My heart is full. I’ve got nothing but love to give.” The post struck me as deeply the wrong viewpoint to hold when we look at the world today. It brushes off real problems and diminishes what love looks like. As Christians, God calls us to be the light in Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Some folks would say, “Of course, Haley. I am being the light. I am trying to get people to remember that there is good in this broken world and not focus so much on the evil, not to mention it’s a nice idea to not dwell on evil.” However, I believe that