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naming things

Photo by: Lylia Mast @lyliasphotography

I'd like to start this post with a bit of a disclaimer. I may or may not be currently experiencing what some people call "Covid brain fog" as I'm writing. I'm sincerely hoping what I share will still make sense and be an encouragement, but in case it seems at all confusing or incoherent, I would like to propose that me testing positive for Covid might having something to do with it. (Side note: so far it seems to be a very mild case, so I'm truly thankful for that!)

Incidentally, sometimes it can be difficult to identify what the actual problem is in a given situation. Do you ever feel like there is something wrong but you are having trouble pinpointing exactly what the problem is? Maybe you feel really sad, but you're not quite sure why. Am I still upset from when I broke that mug yesterday? Or am I missing my best friend who moved away? Or is it that the news story about the kids who died tragically in that train crash really got to me? Hmm, maybe it's all of that together that's making me sad.

We seem to be problem solvers by nature, but it's hard to solve a problem when you can't accurately name what the problem is. I wonder if sometimes part of the solution here needs to come from outside ourselves. If we find ourselves struggling to identify the problem in a given situation, a great first step might be to ask for help.

This can look like praying. Even if it's just a simple request asking God to help you see and name the problem.

It can look like talking to someone. There is just something about explaining what you are dealing with out loud that has a way of making it clearer, often helping you understand the problem better before the other person even says anything.

Sometimes it looks like opening your Bible and reading words you've read before, but somehow they end up being exactly what you need to hear right now.

If you're feeling troubled about something, can you name the problem? If not, what might it look like for you to ask for help?

Maybe the messy house feels overwhelming and you don't know where to start. Or perhaps you are leading a team of people and it seems like no one is getting along but you're not quite sure why or what to do about it. Whatever the problematic situation, chances are it will help you move forward when you're able to get specific about the problem.

Then again, when we are overwhelmed, it's often not so much that we can't name the problem. It's more like we see and know exactly what the problems are, and there are just too many of them.

When it comes to naming things, I've often heard that two things are important...

Thing #1: Name what matters (I hear this repeatedly from The Lazy Genius AKA Kendra Adachi)

Thing #2: Identify the problem (I'm not sure where I've specifically heard this... partly maybe it feels like common sense!)

It recently occurred to me that in some ways, thing #1 has to do with the big picture and thing #2 has to do with the nitty gritty. It also occurred to me that we generally need a healthy dose of both.

If we try to identify and solve the problems we're facing with zero awareness of the big picture, we will easily become discouraged and worn out, even if we're successfully solving said problems. Sure, I paid the bills, finished the laundry, met that work deadline and had some quality time with my family but why am I doing all these things anyway? What is the point?

On the other hand, if we focus only on the big picture and ignore the actual problems in front of us, we will likely end up feeling stressed and overwhelmed due to problem after problem being unresolved. It's realistic to think my car will fill itself up with gas if I just keep focusing on the big truth that God created the whole world and takes care of me, right? After all isn't that what really matters most?

Perhaps some of us default to Thing #1 more, while others of us gravitate toward Thing #2. But whether we're naming what matters or naming problems, implicit in both is an invitation to pray.

Like any school, ACSD must continually navigate finding the balance between seeing the big picture and solving everyday problems as they arise. These are not easy times for anyone, let alone those in positions of leadership making decisions that impact children, parents, families, teachers and staff - a whole community.

Prayer is not only a helpful way to support this community, it is the lifeblood that keeps us connected with the Source of life and moving on the path toward unity through His Spirit. May God give abundant wisdom, grace, and peace as we all do our best to name the things that need naming today.

Pray with me...

... for comfort, peace and healing for all who are currently facing hardships (Covid and otherwise) in the ACSD community

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

... that God will grant each of us eyes to identify both the big picture and the problems before us, especially for those in leadership

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

... giving thanks to God for His promise to be faithful

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:4-6


Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly on Wednesdays throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at

~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator

Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory

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