swirly saturday (compassion edition)

I want to be there. I really do. In India with the Compassion bloggers, making a difference.

This is the perfect topic for a Swirly Saturday, because my thoughts are so stinkin’ swirly on it.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a heart for missions. Taking the hope of the gospel to people in far-off lands. Bright colors, exotic landscapes, foreign tongues. I know it sounds like I’m romanticizing it all. I am. I do have some small sense of what it’s all about though. In 1997, I spent 10 weeks on the island of Okinawa, Japan as a student teacher. It wasn’t the slums of India, but there was poverty. And there was darkness. And bright colors, exotic landscapes, and foreign tongues. It wasn’t an easy 10 weeks, but something about it just felt right.

This is going to sound odd, but this itch to be a missionary of some sort is the premise of my 52 Zoos Book. Say whatzit?? True story. See, I dream of seeing the globe, taking missions trips with my family. But it’s just not in the scheme of our reality right now. I ache to sponsor another Compassion child, but it’s not possible quite yet. Without giving away the whole introduction to the book, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my journal one morning, and the thought came to me. Go to some zoos. They’re like little foreign countries. It will be a small step. The real-life foreign countries will be next.

I’m not going to say God spoke to me (in book proposals, that phrase doesn’t fly). Well, okay, I’m going to say God spoke to me. He’s given me the heart He’s given me for a reason. And right now, He’s got some other stuff for me to learn. Like I’ve mentioned before, in my own little sub-division, there are probably 20+ countries represented. What am I doing to reach the people God has plopped in my lap?

Oh, the swirly.

I’m excited to see what God’s future for me holds. And I’m doing my darnedest not to get ahead of Him, to enjoy the here and now. And oh, there’s so much work that needs done here. In my home. My family. My neighborhood. My city. My heart.

Lord, help me to be faithful in the small things that you might trust me with the big ones!

There are lots of bloggers on the trip. I’ve been following Melissa, Angie, Anne, and sometimes Pete and Robin. Their stories melt my heart. And the words God has given them to convey what they’re experiencing–wow. And the pictures. Man alive.

Here are a couple of my favorite posts: Revelation and I Have Been Ridiculed and Lied To.

Someday, I’m going to sponsor 10 Compassion kids. Maybe 100. And I’m going to go visit them. And help them. But right now, I’m going to chip away at our bills. And write letters to 8-year-old Maria in Mexico and pray for her. And teach my girls about the Bible and God’s heart for the poor. And visit the animals native to those foreign lands where these little ones live.

I’m going to seek first the kingdom of God (not the dreams of Marla) and his righteousness, and all these things (the things HE has planned, not me) will be added to me as well.

Praise you, Jesus!

And Happy 24th Birthday to my sister Stephanie! I love you, Steph!

13 thoughts on “swirly saturday (compassion edition)

  1. Lacey

    Girl, I am SO RIGHT THERE with you. I spent 10 weeks in China the summer inbetween my junior and senior year in college. Then after I graduated I went back and taught English at a University for a year. I could live there the rest of my life but “we’ are both not to that point yet. I miss it, my heart longs for it…really more than anything. We are at a crossroads in December, we are praying now for what He would have us do. Josh feels called to work in the local church and I feel called to missions….I know He knows best and will reveal His plan in His timing but I’m ready for it NOW! :)

  2. Colleen

    Marla…I’ve been reading the Compassion bloggers’ posts as well…I’ve been on the Compassion site what feels like a million times in the past week…We are in prayer right now considering sponsoring a little girl from Kenya! It’s just amazing….thanks for the post!

  3. Kelsie

    Wow. What an encouragment, to read what God is doing in your heart. Thanks for sharing. To God be the Glory!!

  4. Peter P

    That’s the best post I’ve ever seen of yours – and there’s some tough competition!

    If I was a book publisher, that would make a great book proposal for me!

  5. Kaye

    Happy birthday to your sister!
    Thanks for a wonderful swirly post. We know HE will be your guide for when, how, who, etc.
    My sister, brother and I adopt through Compassion for each other. What wonderful gifts.
    These Compassion bloggers’ stories have made a definite impact on me and I am forever grateful for what they’ve shared with us.
    Blessings today and always,
    Matthew 21:22

  6. Jennifer

    Compassion is a great organization! They make it affordable and easy to sponsor a child. If you just give up one restaurant meal a month, you can provide a world of opportunities for a child in desperate need. Everyone who reads your post should go and visit Compassion’s site and prayerfully consider blessing one of these precious children!

  7. ginger

    Thanks, Marla. You put words to exactly what I feel. Guess that’s why you’re a writer, eh? I pray God will use my heart for putting feet to my faith while I live the life He has given me here in the States with a husband & 3 children. I know I am beyond blessed. I just want to GO! sometimes.

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