When I woke up this morning, I spent some time just listening to God. I wanted to be centered, clear-headed and resting in the moment for God's direction.
The thought that came to my mind was unshakable. "Be thankful for what you have." Over the last several weeks I have been focused on what we don't have. We don't have enough time, money, technical equipment....the list could go on. It becomes exhausting to spend my time focused on what I don't have and things soon become overwhelming. So this morning, I began to contemplate the blessings I do have.
I have a bed to get out of. I have eyes to see the sunshine. I have ears to hear the birds chirping in the early morning breeze. I have food. I have shelter. I have a car that drives and gas to put in it. I have clothes that are in decent repair and shoes that fit my feet. I have friends and family to love and who love me. I know how to read. I am healthy. The list goes on.
Throughout the day, God's words came back to me, "Be thankful for what you have." Ministry leaders who are so humble and faithful, effectively serving the community, business partners who see the need and are generous over long years of time. People with technical expertise, musical gifts, organizational gifts. Board members who give their time. Other community leaders who share in the vision of The Nehemiah Foundation. Staff who excel at what they do with such grace and joy. And friends--people who are interested, who recognize God's hand at work and respond with enthusiasm. Friends--people who know what it means to give back. Friends--people who encourage us because they realize the work takes all of us together. Friends--people who share what they have with others. Friends--people who reflect the heart and face of Jesus to us. Because of friends like you, we move forward with diligence, empowered by your generosity.
Today was a great day to be reminded of what we have....and we want to say how thankful we are for the generous gifts of encouragement, prayer, interest, partnership and dollars for the work of God in Springfield. God's faithfulness is demonstrated through you....."every good gift comes from above." Thank you for being counted among our greatest gifts!
Shelley Lopez, Executive Director
Shelley has been a member of the Springfield community for 29 years. As she lives and works and worships in the city, she uses the metaphor of an old Victorian house restoration to keep her focused on the work she is called to do. Inspired by the words of the prophet Isaiah, she pours herself into "restoring old ruins, rebuilding and renovating, making the community livable again" (Is. 58:12 MSG)