5/12/14

finding the nugget


I actually giggle when I say the word nugget. I'm not sure why. It's a weird word.

But that silly little word has meant a lot to me over the past two months.

When I went to Uganda to work with Sole Hope -- blog with them and document their incredible work -- there was a sense of trepidation. How was I going to explain what I saw, what I understood in one blog post? How could I make anyone care?

One of the women on the trip -- Logan, I think-- said "Find the nugget. That's all you need to do. Find the nugget of truth in the day and write about that."

That stuck with me. Find the nugget.

In Uganda, there was so much truth, so much experience and picking the best little nugget of truth was hard to narrow down. Back home in America, I have the opposite problem: I feel like sometimes there is no nugget of truth at all.

I love the corporate day job and the evening job (etsy shop + blog) but many days I don't feel like I am making a difference. There is no nugget of truth to impart. I go to work, I come home. My life feels ordinary. In Uganda, it was so easy to see the difference I made, the way I could encourage the Collies, the way I could share their story, Sole Hope's story -- even by making a clinic go smoother-- I felt like my presence made a huge difference.

Then I come home. And I struggled and still struggle. Somedays, I feel as if all my hands do is vanity. There's a book in the Bible where the writer talks about the pain of every day, the feeling of thinking that no matter what we do, things will be the same.

It's a disheartening feeling to be sure. But the word nugget rings in my head and I've come to believe it's just as true in the U.S., where I am easily distracted by things and busyness and deadlines, as it is in the sweet community of Uganda.

Every day there is truth, there is goodness, there is a place to make an impact. But I need to seek it out -- I need to find that nugget and pursue it.

I truly believe we are where we are for a reason -- whether it be atop a comfortable mountain or in a valley of challenges. I don't know why I was born in my hometown and given every opportunity and why some people are not. But I have to believe that there is something to take from it, there is something I can do with it. I just need to find the nugget.

xo, erika

p.s. you can read more about my trip here.


4 comments

  1. I have never had an experience like yours where you help those in need, but there are little things you can do which can make big changes. Like switching to ethical banks and researching which companies invest in good places as opposed to lining the managers' pockets. It must be hard to come back from such an experience but there are people who need you everywhere.

    I'm loving your posts about your trip :)

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  2. This really is beautiful, and while I don't understand the extent of your feelings, I can relate.

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  3. This is the biggest fight I have with travel and one of the reasons I think I get so antsy when I'm in the US. It's so hard to clean out the clutter of our homes and minds so we can focus on what really matters. Somehow it's clearer overseas, and I wonder if that's because we often travel there with a specific purpose, when it's harder to discern that in our everyday.

    I'm praying for you, Erika. I'm still trying to find the nugget in my own life after a few trips abroad and I know how hard it is! Hold fast to Jesus through it. I know He'll show us the way.

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  4. I sometimes stop and wonder why I am where I am. But I always feel like it's for a reason. Maybe I haven't found that reason yet but I know in my heart there is one.

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