But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.
2 Chronicles 15:7
This is an encouraging word from the Bible. It encourages me to be diligent in all things and to keep moving forward despite the challenges that come and go and some that drag on longer than I'd like. The verse is a promise to me (and to all who believe) that eventually (perhaps sooner, perhaps later), my efforts will be rewarded.
The process of goal setting, which I started a few years ago, and the process of reflecting on progress at the end of each year, helps me to see what it is I am moving forward to each year, and whether my efforts are being rewarded with all my goals, not just the spiritual ones though those are very important too.
Of course other things may arise which impacts on what I am doing at any given time. New things may take priority, like the Swahili class I enrolled in in 2012. I had not planned on taking the course in a formal way, and that is okay because I simply adjusted my priorities to fit in new ones. Anything I do not achieve in a given year can simply be carried forward to another year, and other things can be dropped if they no longer fit my needs. What is important to me is that I keep in mind the things I have been wanting to do for a long time and make space in my life now that I have the freedom of more time. When I was working I never had much time for doing anything that I really wanted to do. My hours of work were excruciating and demanding. Family needs took up the rest of my time. Now I am retired but I have health challenges that take up a lot of my time. Even so I am blessed with more time for doing some of the things I want to do and I don't want to waste it.
Helping in the mission field is a huge part of my life. I was helping Jonah at Missions of Hope in Kenya but he is taking a break from his volunteer efforts at present and for the foreseeable future. I will continue helping him and others whenever I can. Jonah is not currently working on missions as a volunteer while he contemplates and acts on the next important phase of his life but we have not lost contact. Later, I hope to be able to undertake some projects of my own in Kenyan villages and I have done that several times before, often with Jonah's help. If you are new to my blog you can read about some of that work here. You can either read the posts backwards or scroll down and start from the beginning.
|Image Credit: AANISCHAAUKAMIKW Cree Cultural Institute|
Monday night I started my new language class. I think I will enjoy it a lot. I don't intend to say too much about it as I'm sure that will not be so interesting to most of you. I will simply say that I am studying the Cree language, and in particular, the Plains Cree dialect which is spoken in the western provinces and northern territory of Canada (which you can see in map above). The map suggests that the Plains dialect ends at the BC/Alberta border (the two westernmost provinces) but there are actual Cree speaking communities in northwestern BC as well. They have been established in that part of the province for a very long time.
I actually spoke Cree as my first language but my parents started me speaking English when I was only about 3 years old so I didn't get much of a grounding in the language. When I started university I tried very hard on my own to practice the language. I had some success, however there weren't a lot of opportunities to practice. My mother did not remember to speak to me in the language even though I reminded her many times. Speaking to her children in English was a habit hard to break. Now I will be studying the language formally. My nephew and I will be enrolled in the same class and it will be fun to see how we both get on with the language. He was a huge help to me tonight finding the building and escorting me from and to the bus stop as well as carrying my bag and coffee. We both plan on practicing what we learn with my mom over the phone. It will be special and nice. In fact, right after class, my nephew called his grandma and said some words to her in Cree, including words that I don't even remember and which we did not learn in the class. I was quite impressed. I do also intend to get back to studying Swahili as soon as I am able.
What about you dear reader? What are your special goals for 2013?
This is my submission for Our World Tuesday. Please join in if you can and read what others are up to.