Raw Thoughts on My Philippines Trip

By April 21, 2011Get Inspired


As many of you know, at the end of next month I’ll be going to the Philippines with an amazing group of bloggers to see and write about the work that Compassion International does.

I’ve been following the Compassion blog trips since they began and it’s been a dream of mine to go on one. Yet when Shaun asked me if I wanted to go, the reality of stepping so far outside my comfort zone hit me. Overwhelmed me a bit.

I thought I’d share one of my journal entries with you. I’m so honored to be able to go on this trip and I certainly couldn’t have gone without your kindness to come here and be a part of this community. So I want to bring you along as much as I can, even on the decision making process.

From my journal:

So it looks like I could really go on this compassion trip to the Philippines. I struggle with wanting to go but also my fear of actually going.

I don’t want to just run to the loud ringing bell. This is obviously a “noble and honorable” thing to do. It’s clearly worthwhile.

But I don’t want to think it’s anymore worthwhile to go than it is to stay home with my children and love and mother them. It is no more daring for me to go than it is to stay.

In a sense, it’s easier. There is recognition and praise if I go. People might be impressed. It’s exciting. It’s meaningful. I can measure it’s worth.

But staying home? I can’t measure each day’s impact. No one says, “Wow! You played Candyland 27 times today? That’s incredibly cool. What was it like?”

So is going simply the easier, logical option?

But then, if I go, there are so many uncertainties.

What if I get sick? What if something goes wrong?

I am passionate and empathetic and want to change the world. How will I handle it emotionally when I’m thrown in the middle of desperate poverty that I can’t fix? When I meet children who need help, but I can’t help all of them?

I’ve never been on the other side of the world. I’ve never been away from my family for so long.

I’ve never been to my mother’s country. What kind of emotion is that going to stir? To see places she saw? To get a glimpse into who she was? Can I handle it all?

I don’t know…

But I do know this…

If I want my children to learn selfless compassion, if I want them to follow Jesus outside of their comfort zones, if I want them to follow God so closely that they realize fears are only disappearing shadows…then I have to show them what that looks like.

And if I want to make any kind of change in this world, in the lives of those precious Filipino children, I must step out.

Comfort and change cannot coincide.

If flying, getting a little sick or being away from my family for a few days are my greatest fears…… then what in the world am I really living for?

I’ve always loved this quote:

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are made for…” -unknown

There are seasons for the harbor and seasons for the ocean. What season are you in?

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Comments

25 Comments

  • I’m in the season for the harbor but my youngest it barley a year old. I look forward to the season of the ocean, every time I want to put up my sails I have to tell myself not now but one day. I hope when the winds change and its time to set sail I have your courage.

    Just remember “If you want them (your children) to follow you, you need to actually be going somewhere” a quote from one of my favorite bloggers πŸ™‚

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Well played, Sandra, well played. πŸ™‚ And I’m sure you’ll have the courage when it’s time to set sail!

  • Avatar Erin says:

    I think I’m definitely in the season of harbor with an 8 month old, but even if I weren’t technically in this season I would probably be too fearful to head out to sea. You always encourage and inspire me, Kat! I’m praying for this amazing trip! Thanks for obediently allowing God to use you- in your home, your blog, and now in the Philippines!

  • Avatar Haley says:

    I think I’m in both seasons in a way. I’m in the harbor right now b/c my babies are still so little (4, 21 mos, and 4 mos.) that I don’t have the freedom/opportunity to go and do. But at the same time, this season of life definitely comes with it’s own “ocean” of instability that we have to sail through. Praying that when the time comes to go and demonstrate my commitment to the Father that I will be able to set all fears aside as well. What a beautiful example you are to so many, but especially your children.

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Haley,
      You know, I think you’re already demonstrating your commitment to the Father by embracing the season you’re in and resisting the urge to go and do.

      Thank you for your encouragement. It means a lot.

  • Avatar daniella says:

    This is why I was drawn to you in the first pleace and came to love you, Kat; you have a rare honest heart and spirit. Humble too. Wish we lived closer, not an ocean apart. In the meantime, I’ll be praying for you as my guest πŸ™‚ (refering to the hospitality post you did for passionate homemaking in case you completely forgot). Very excited to see how you will grow on this trip!

  • Avatar Andrea says:

    I am definantly in the season of the ocean. I am fearful and yet so excited to see how and what God does through obedience. I, too, wonder how this will serve my children, change our way of life and what it will bring to them in understanding trusting God is all things. Scary and wonderful all at the same time! Thank you for so eloquently putting into words exactly what I am struggling with even if the destinations are different.

  • Avatar Anne says:

    I read something a few years ago that totally reframed how I approach goal-setting: I think the author was Richard Foster. He said that a yearly retreat is an excellent time to purposefully set goals for our lives, and to make sure to set long term goals as well as shorter-term ones–we tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in one year, but hugely UNDERestimate what we can accomplish in ten.

    That one kernel of advice dramatically changed my approach to goal setting.

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Ok. Really? How can I NOT click on your blog link?

      And that IS great advice. I know I certainly over and under estimate both.

  • Avatar Erin says:

    Thanks for sharing your heart, Kat. I think I’m in a harbor time with little ones (5, 3, and 1), planning to homeschool the kindergartener, *trying* to potty train the 3 y.o. and just enjoying the 1 y.o. Like you said, there are seasons! I’m excited for you and your trip!

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Erin,
      You may not be traveling anywhere, but that sure sounds like an ocean season to me! Or perhaps it’s a hurricane in the harbor. πŸ™‚ Three little ones, homeschooling AND potty training? You’re pretty much a rockstar.

      • Avatar Erin says:

        You know, Kat, after thinking about this a bit, and reading the comments below….its true that this is more an ocean or hurricane season for me! It seems like a harbor time in that I’m HOME a lot, doing the same things over and over. But, it is more of a ocean or storm time because parenting these little kids is the most difficult job I’ve ever had – the biggest test of my patience and love, revealing my selfishness again and again, showing me my need for Jesus daily (and for that, I am SO thankful.) I’m confident, that these children and circumstances were given to me so that I would be needy for Jesus Christ, not able to do anything on my own.
        I should clarify too, that I’m not yet homeschooling, we are just planning/curriculum shopping for kindergarten in the fall with my girl who is not yet 5 (turning 5 in a few weeks). And potty training…..well…..we tried, but it just isn’t happening with my almost 3 girl. So, that’s on a back burner, again. And the 16 month old boy….is everywhere, into everything….but gosh, he’s so cute! πŸ™‚
        Anyway, your reply got me thinking about how I view my situation. Understanding that I’m out in the ocean, fighting the big waves, not resting peacefully in a harbor, makes me not get so discouraged when things are hard. I can be peaceful out there, because of Him, but my circumstances aren’t going to bring that peace right now.
        Thanks again. I appreciate how you took the time to reply. Your encouragement was a blessing to me.

  • Avatar melanie says:

    I wonder why we view parenting the younger kids as a season in the harbor? Maybe we need to change our perspective on things. (Not trying to be critical – I view it that way too sometimes…)

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Melanie,
      I totally hear what you’re asking. Good question. I know that for me right now, I see it that way because I would feel so much more comfortable if I was doing this WITH my family. Just being with my family feels like the harbor, even when there is a hurricane pummeling us. πŸ™‚

      Those early years definitely aren’t any easier than the ocean, though!

  • Avatar Jie says:

    Hi Kat, I’ve been been reading your blogs since 2 weeks ago and maximizing my mornings since then as well. And I’m really blessed and feel happy about it. I’m from the Philippines, but lives in China now, so it excites me when I learned that you’ll be going there. I’m not a mom yet so I don’t know how it feels to be away from my children, but if you go on this trip you can be a mom to much more kids. Don’t worry if you cannot fix everything for these people. Yes they need material things but they need Jesus more in their lives. If it is God’s will for you to go there, it shall come to pass smoothly. Hope everything goes well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. God bless you and your family!

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Jie,
      Thank you SO much for your encouragement! Maraming salamat! (Was that right? I don’t really know Tagalog, I’m just trying to learn some basics for the trip.)

  • Wow! How amazing! I am sure it is such a huge burden wanting to do more. You are a blessing though with all you do! XOXO

  • Oh my goodness! This SPEAKS to me!
    I’m in the harbor right now, but I dream constantly (and toss & turn) about heading out to sea! I love travel and adventure and hard work and serving and loving on people.
    You are SO right when you say that it’s almost EASIER to go than to stay. I wen to Haiti in August… and while it was incredibly hard work and heartbreaking and challenging, it was exciting and that made it easier. There’s an ENDURANCE that comes with our day in, day out mothering jobs. This was a break from that.. and with (somewhat) measurable results. I never thought of it that way.
    That said, I say the more opportunities we have to GET OUT THERE and experience the world, the better. And, I saw my trip (along with other trips) as a PART of my parenting. We’re showing our children that the world is BIG and FULL of need. We can be God’s answer to so many people’s prayers around the world. And, I’m seeing the fruit of that… my 7 year old is now passionate about getting up EARLY on Saturdays to work at the Food Pantry. It’s the sweetest thing.

  • Avatar Jacqueline B says:

    Soooo excited for you….praying for you, too.

  • You know, I’m not completely sure that I agree with this: “But I donÒ€ℒt want to think itÒ€ℒs anymore worthwhile to go than it is to stay home with my children and love and mother them. It is no more daring for me to go than it is to stay.”

    I understand completely what you mean. I really do. But I think that often those words are a way of making us feel better for all of the times we don’t go. You’re right, staying is entirely “worthwhile”, and Candy Land ad nauseum might inspire many things, but fear (usually) isn’t one of them.

    So I’ll say to you what I said to Emily. It’s brave because it’s scary, and you’re doing it anyway. Also? You’ll be providing a glimpse of a corner of the world that we need to be in. Interacting beyond our bubble is required of us, and there are many ways of doing that, but THIS was the opportunity you were given!

    I’m excited for you! And proud of you. Because you said YES.

  • I LOVED this honest look into what it means to GO and what it means to STAY, and how both are honorable and both are hard and both are gritty and

    both are oozing with Christ.

    I can’t wait to read about your experience, to hear about the ways God uses YOU to inspire others to care for the littlest of these . . .

    Thanks for your honesty here . . .