Sunday, September 28, 2014

From home to home and back home again.

You know how you can set the mood? We can set the mood to foster our anger, to blow on the embers of a injustice or even a greivence till it is a burning inferno. We can also foster a mood of forgiveness in ourselves. We can set the mood for our day, set the mood for our emotions.

This morning I set the mood for a good long hard cry. Not the sniffle kind of cry. The grab the whole roll of toilet paper out of the bathroom, immerse myself in it, my face in leaking kind of cry.

Maybe it doesn't help that I am back on steroids. Or that it seems like I have broken more things in the last two-three days, than I have in years put together! Maybe the embers started with the blood shot eyes and jello muscles from lack of sleep. Or that finally when I was in a deep sleep I was awoken to a two year old crying in the night, threw in the towel, and decided to stop trying to even sleep.
I got up and started to check emails. And there was a email from a website for encouragement for women overseas. I found myself on their website reading article after article. Wanting more than 2-D relationships, maintaining relationships overseas, and the list goes on and on. That's when the little sniffles started. Then I started looking up worship songs that really speak to me. And cue the messy cry session!!

So I started thinking in the wee hours of the morning in my lack of sleep state. As I prepare probably for my longest time back in the states since I hunkered down and called this place home. (yeah, its less than two months, I know. But I know a week in, my heart will be so homesick for here!) A few things, I want people to know, in this crazy two continents are home life.

1. A series of goodbyes
I live in constant series of goodbyes. No matter where I am, there are tight embraces, tears shed, unexplainable joy at the sight of you, who I haven't seen in who knows how long. But I always know, there is a goodbye coming around the corner. I miss you and will miss you again. Your life will go on, as will mine. Things always have a way of settling back into the routine. And after we have felt tears drip on each others shoulders in a embrace of goodbye, I will start the process all over again with the next person. The joy, the tears, the goodbye.

2. Time
I wish I could spend every minute, with every person, in every state, that I love so dearly for every stinkin' moment I am home Which I am starting to wonder which town, state, village, country, or continent is "home". Please know that when I don't get to spend as much time as we both would like together, it hurts me too. Please don't make it any harder, more complicated, than it has too be. If I could, we would hunker down in front of the fireplace with coffee in hand, and talk till our jaws fall off.

3. I am a bit shell shocked
I remember my first trip back to the states. I went to WalMart a few days in, and wandered around that place like I had just crawled out from under a rock. I could have bought everything and nothing, it was more the experience. When I walk into church, I am processing and going through a thousand different emotions. That joy of seeing faces that I have done life with, grown with, and my heart aches for. Yet, I am processing all the emotions of the vastness of it all. I am going through a bit of culture shock along with the vast joy of seeing you. If I seem a bit short, or awkward Well lets be honest, I have always been a bit awkward. Please remember I am trying to process a thousand things in one moment and am shifting from a dozen emotions in just a short time. If we go to the new huge mall that has kids walking ropes on the ceiling, dazzling lights, a zillion stores and even more places to eat, or things to choose to eat, or buy, or sit on, or do. I mean games in restaurants, arcades, kids walking ropes on the ceiling. I love being with you, but I spend 95% of my time in a foreign country, and this is like a bit out of a strange dream. This is no longer my norm, and it might take me a bit to get a bearing on my processing through it.

I cannot explain my joy of coming to my other home soon. So many necks I cannot wait to hug, till I might be slightly choking you. But I am always sort of preparing myself. I know that I will walk into the church and be so overwhelmed with joy and excitement, and always somehow find myself in the stall of the women's bathroom crying. I am trying to find out why I am crying! Am I overwhelmed with the joy, am I sort of in a culture shock? I guess I will never be able to answer that as my heart is shifting between so many emotions so rapidly. I guess part of me is preparing myself for the whole experience again.

With all that said, I cannot wait to see you. But if I nearly knock you over with a hug, or I walk around a bit shell shocked in WalMart. Honestly, what I want more than anything is to see you! I love the tiny coffee shop, a cup of coffee, and just to chat. And when you honestly want to hear the crazy stories of life, it helps my heart process on a different level. Weather its a silly story of being caught during the remembrance in a downpour and sharing a little spot out of the rain with a chicken. Or stories of how Moses and Rebecca are growing up, and how proud I am of them! What means more than a mall, food, anything, is YOU. And I want to know all about your stories, your life, since we last sat down together with a hot cup of coffee and chatted. I want to know all about your adoption process, your empty nest, your new little person, job promotion, and the little things driving you crazy. Time with you means more than a million things.

A heart preparing,

Thursday, September 18, 2014


The kids painting rocks. You gotta get creative some times.
Turning- 34. Seriously, that is just not right!

Reading- Return To Me by- Lynn Austin. I am kind of obsessed with her books lately!

Drinking- Water with lemon essential oil.

Found- out that I have Multiple sclorisis. Went into Kigali to get a MRI, after loosing vision in my right eye, and finding out the optic nerve was swollen. There was 7 lesions on the brain in the white matter. But so grateful that it is something that can be slowed down with medication! Thankful I could get a MRI to diagnosis it. Grateful I am now aware!

Sleeping- maybe 2-3 hours a night. A good night is 4 hours. On a heavy dose of steroids to help bring down the swelling in the optic nerve in my right eye. It is working though, and the rest of my body is thankful for depth perception. (I was even more clumsy walking into things, when all my vision in that eye went ka-put)
Produce stop on the way home from Kigali.

Eating- carbs, what else?

Planning- A trip to the states next month! I will be speaking at Oswego Alliance on the 26th of October! Cannot wait to see you all! I also am looking forward to seeing my general practioner, and hopefully the nuerologist there as well. This trip is such a blessing already! Though a huge part of my heart already longs for the return home. I will be in the states till Mid-December!

Needing- 18 more $26 a month sponsors for the house. You can click that nifty little donate button for recurring donations and sign up for just $26 a month! YOU are what keep things going here, for real.

Crying-..... I cannot even remember the last time I cried, seriously.

Laughing- at Moses the other day. He asked me to draw a spider, so I did. When I handed it to him he threw the paper over his head and went screaming down the driveway "Aaaaah its a spider!" that kid is 100% all personality!

Missing- All the visitors we had this summer! And ice cream. I hate to admit how much lately I have thought of real legit ice cream. I blame the steroids!

Taking mama B and Liz to see Rwandan dancers in August.

Listening- to Chip Ingram's series "Unstuck". I apparently am very verbal when I listen to sermons. The other day Moses woke up from nap and heard me listening to it, and immediately said "Amen! .... You are killing me Chip!" I was dying laughing, that kid has too much personality!

If you want to know more about what Multiple Scolorisis is, watch the video below!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

26 by the 26th

I wanted to start this on the first of September, but as most of you know, I was in Kigali getting some other things taken care of that needed attending too. More on that later!

When I first moved here in August of 2012, I had committed to two years here in Rwanda. Obviously God had other plans, and life looked a lot different than I thought it would. That baby I went to visit every single day in the orphanage came into my home as my foster son. A little girl I adored, got to come home as my foster daughter. Older girls that were in my home when I got here, most have moved onto University and are part of other programs, as they pursue their future’s. Currently we have 5 other people in the house who live here. 

I have had the amazing opportunity to minister to two other people outside of the home as well, on a ongoing basis. One being Mama Karisa, who worked at the orphanage in the baby room, has been widowed, and has a heart condition. Now with the orphanages closing, she was recently let go, and is pursuing work elsewhere.  We have been honored to get to set a place for her at our table for nearly two years to join us for lunch. With her heart condition, she was unable to eat the food cooked there, because it had too much salt. Recently she stopped by to give me the sweetest letter, and a hand carved mama holding a baby. Who knew how much it ministered to someone to be welcomed at your table!! 

We also have been able to minister to a older orphan Angel, who has been the sole caretaker for her family. They lived by the river in a home that would often flood. She takes care of her elderly aunt, and two cousins in the home. And we were able to rent her a house for about $75 a month that is safe and no worry of the river flooding into their home. 

Obviously my ministry is changing as the orphanages close down in the country, as they work to reunify children to families, or put them in foster homes. And as the orphanage continues to close down, I am not sure what my ministry here will look like in 6 months. It is surely a time of transition in many ways. But I have a few idea’s, one which is so heavy on my heart, and I am praying to see how that will look, and how that will look as it comes into fruition. 

I have also been in the process of moving under a different NGO, which I hope to get to the states soon to do their week long training. 

So as you can see, so much has happened, and so much has changed, and so much continues to change. But in the midst of change, we have found ourselves here in a interesting financial position. Two year commitments have ended. Some sponsors personal situations have changed. Going under a different NGO, and working alongside another international NGO in the country. 

So  we are looking for new monthly sponsors. My birthday is on the 26th (How is it even possible that I will be 34? Wasn’t it just yesterday I was 25?) So for my 34th birthday on the 26th, I am looking for 26 people to do $26 a month. That is less than $1 a day! Right now we have been carried through with random one time donations that have filled in the gaps. Obviously these donations are never guaranteed and there are some months I am holding my breath.  It is amazing how the money is always there right when we need it! I have a few times, gone to bed, just saying “OK Lord, its in your hands, there is nothing I can do.” And woken up to a one time donation with just a few dollars over exactly what we needed! 

If YOU would like to donate $26 a month, you can click the button on the right side near the top of this blog for a recurring donation! Any one time donations help as well! All donations are used for daily living expenses, such a educational, medical, rent, water, power, food, etc. Though 3 of the 4 girls in the house have sponsors, sometimes, we have a gap, or unexpected fee’s that come up.
I seriously cannot minister to those in the home, or those outside the home who we have been able to without you. You are what makes this work. 

I have been so honored to be here for the two years I have been here. And who knew that after two years, I would be going into my third year? 

Please note, that once the change is complete to the new NGO, recurring donors will be asked to switch over to there.

In Christ, 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dear Moses

Photo credit- Tash McCarroll
Dear Moses,

I love you. I wish I could express just how much I love and adore you. From the time I laid eyes on this tiny boy in the orphanage, with crazy wild long hair. With pinches at the end of his ears like little elf ears. With this tiny cute button nose, big eyes that danced with life, tiny fingers gripped around mine. You were perfect and precious, and my heart was captivated and enthralled.

I never knew those days I just soaked you in, that one day you would be calling me mom. And it has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I love how you were scared to take your first steps, and cried when you walked. I love how once you got over that fear, you were wild and crazy, and fell because you just couldn't go fast enough. I love how even today, you just want to RUN. You run laps around this house kid, and leave this mama in the dust. I love how you act like a runner in the olympics, and its serious business.

I love the look on your face when you master something new. The pride that beams from your eyes, when you potty trained, when you learned to blow bubbles, the first time you successfully used silverwear (though you still opt out of using them as often as possible!). I love the sheer joy of stirring for mommy when I am cooking.

I love how you make sure everyone has enough. If you want something to drink, you get frustrated as you try to carry a cup for everyone else in the house, because you want to make sure everyone has one too!!
Trying to get you to sleep

I love how cuddle up next to me, and lean your head next to my arm. I love the way you reach your arm up and wrap it around my neck. I love how you giggle and ask for one more kiss before bed. I love how you make sure I kiss your stuffed bear and gorilla too, and make sure mommy tucks them in too. I love how you say good morning sunshine, even when Mommy is still half awake. I love the little smile you give when you feel content.

I love how you keep trying. I love how the world is new, and exciting through your eyes. I love that little part of your hair that always seems to spring away in its own crazy direction. I love how you love to swim and take baths. I love how you would take a dozen baths a day if I would let you. I love how you get excited and scream and hollar "YAY POWER BACK!" when the power comes back on.
I love how you love animals. I love how you get so excited about every cow, chicken, goat, and sheep that enters even the corner of your vision. I love how you are concerned for our dog, and I love how you sit in the driveway and lay back to watch the birds overhead. I love how it is so exciting to you, and I love how you just love to watch birds.

I love how you sleep crazy, with the pillow over your stomach like its the blanket. I love that you cannot sleep with socks on, neither can mommy. I love how you love those yellow rainboots, and it will surely be a sad day in this house when they no longer fit.

I love how when we pray at dinner, you know the first few sentences I say by heart and you shout the last word of each one. "Lord, thank you for this....." and you get so excited to shout "DAY!"
I love your strong will and leadership qualities, and thats what we will call them. I pray that I can help guide you, because I see the Lord rising up a powerful leader in you. I love how you get so determined in what you think is a good idea in the moment, that you just cannot understand why the entire room is not so excited to go run and blow bubbles, because you just know, that you know that is the best idea since sliced bread.

I love how you scream "SUPAMAN!" and how you say sorry to your superhero underwear if you have a accident "sorry supaman, all wet. Sorry, sorry."

You have taught me more about love, and stretched me, and made me grow more than anything else in this world. It is a honor to watch you grow up. It is a joy! I pray I am the mom you deserve everyday, and that the Lord helps me to guide you. He has got some big plans for you, and I cannot wait to see what the Lord has for you!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

So, you wanna move to (fill in the blank)

So here I am, coming up on two years here. It doesn't feel unreal anymore. It just feels like home. I have settled in, and this place is familiar. The neighbors, the places, the unique challenges that come up here that don't in the states. The sounds, the smells, it just feels like home now.

I have wanted to write this blog post for awhile. And by no means whatsoever am I a expert, or do I half of the time know what in the world I am talking about. It is so true, that the older you get...... the more you know.... you don't know a whole lot. These are just my thoughts. And as I started to mull this around in the ole noggin tonight, it was during the end of the day routines. Checking homework, brushing teeth, getting dinner cleaned up and put away, pajama's, one more drink of water, one more hug, one more kiss goodnight. I kept randomly jotting a few things down on a piece of paper. And this is what was mulling around in my head.

So you came on a short term missions trip, and are ready to plunge in, and move to that country. Here are a few things I would like to share, for what its worth. . . .

  • Seek council, but listen to God above anyone else. And be willing to hear "no" and "wait" from God. We all have known that girl. She is so in love with that one guy. Even though so many people see these negative aspects, perhaps drinking, controlling, whatever. Seeing a train wreck in the distance, so many have tried to warn her. But she is so in love, that nothing, no one says, can take those rose colored glasses off her eyes. She wants what she wants, and she is set on it. I think people do the same thing in so many other aspects of life. And yes, it can even be missions. You are so set, so convinced, and you want it to happen as fast as possible. Nothing no one says, can alter your perspective....... perhaps not even God. Seek council from people, and from God, and be willing to hear the "no" or "not yet." 
  • Never base what it will be like, from a short term trip. The honeymoon phase will wear off. What used to excite you, on a short term trip, or even for the first few months, will wane and wear off. Like that time you went to the market and thought it so exciting to see people negotiating prices.  It no longer is so thrilling, after a long day, and you just want to stinking get a new flashlight because the power has gone off for the millionth time. The last thing you want to do, is have to negotiate the prices. You just want your flashlight! The things that were exciting, will not always remain exciting. It is not as glamorous as it seems. Would you recommend anyone to move to your hometown, based on a few weeks there? Probably not, or at least I hope not. You know that person didn't get the real view of the place and life there. Internationally, take that then times 100. Whatever you think it will be like, it won't. Your passion has got to be from and for God. Otherwise once the newness goes, you might be as well. And honestly, what good will that have done? 
  • All heart can equal making a big mess. You of course cannot go into it heartless. But when you go and you do based solely on emotion...... well, that can equal a big mess. I have seen people say things to the kids in the orphanage that make me cringe. I know they are saying it solely based on the emotion in the moment. But that can lead to a mess of a orphan, with yet another broken promise, yet another thing to reinforce that adults are not to be trusted, and so forth.  The same, moving based solely on emotion, or living somewhere solely based on emotion. Creates a huge problem. You will say things and make decisions that lack discernment, council, and wisdom. "All you need is love", but love is not always a squishy, rose colored, walking on clouds kind of thing. Love is a choice, love endures, love makes hard decisions, and has the hard conversations. Never go into something all heart, and no reality. 
  • Talk to people, Get some real idea's. I cannot recommend more highly the book Expectations And Burnout: Women Surviving The Great Commission. It gives some real honest look at missions. Talk to people who have lived internationally. Talk to missionaries. Get some real legit perspective. It doesn't need or have to be all negative, it never is, anywhere. But also get a honest good hard look at it. 
  •  Whatever you bring, will be magnified. Living internationally can hold a real HD mirror up to your face. The things you struggle with, are not going to be left back in the US. I have heard it again and again, and lived it even more. That it feels like everything here is just intensified. Whatever it is you struggle with, will still be a struggle. It just might look a little different, but it will be right there, staring you in the face still. 

  • Do it the right way. Talk to your pastor, your Elders, and for heavens sake, talk to the missions org you went on the short term trip with. They do know a thing or two, and be willing to listen. More than likely they will be thrilled to see your heart, and have some appropriate steps and advice to give. If you can get training, jump on that, like you would jump on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. 
By no means am I trying to dissuade people from following Gods calling. I will be the first cheerleader in your corner. But please, please, don't think where you live, equates your value. You are not more valuable in Africa, Peru, Mexico, Haiti, or wherever than you are right where you are, in this very moment. God doesn't love you more when you step onto a plane, or you find yourself changing poopy diapers all day. (which you can find yourself doing across the Ocean as well!) That is NOT where your worth is.

I know, I know, when you go on ones of these short term trips, people will pat you on the back the entire way, tell you what a amazing work you are doing, the gratitude you see in the country you visit. And those pats on the back,  are deserving. It is scary as daylights to hop on a plane, go to another country you don't know, with a bunch of people, and submerge yourself in it. I think short term teams are awesome, when they are done right. You my friend, have stepped out of your comfort zone, leaned hard into God, and dove in. But let me say once again, do not let your value rest on that.

In Christ,

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Currently in June


Tarison and my dog. I watch Tairson during the week while his mom is in class.

Reading- Fire By Night. The First book in this Lynn Austin series is Candle In The Darkness. I must admit I was surprised how much I love these books! They are Christian historical fiction. I am not a history buff at all, but these books are just awesome.

Eating- Carbs, of course. What else do you eat in Africa?!

Rebecca and her new friend, the daughter of the couple with the ministry A Voice For Rwanda. If your going to have a meeting you might as well have it on the beach, right? (Rebecca on the left, at Lake Kivu)

Partnering- With a new ministry on the ground here. So my home is now officially their third group/transitional home. It really doesn't change what my home looks like, or all that. But it gives it a title. Which is a accurate title. Hoping to be switched over soon to the missions organization in Texas. Very excited about all these changes. One door closes, but more long term doors open. God surely know what He is doing. Why do we hold onto our will so tightly, and grieve it so immensely, when God is just longing to give us something more concrete?! Yeah... I guess a lesson we learn all through our life here. (His Chase ROCKS, and the change out from underneath them, was more a technicality, on what they are registered for in country. If that makes sense. They are doing such incredible things, and I 100% endorse what they are doing for the kids from the orphanage. You should totally get on board with that! God is moving incredibly through them!)

Tilly waiting to greet Rebecca with a paw, after she gets off the school bus.

Drinking- Well, at the moment coffee with some cinnamon.

Listening - To podcasts. Chip Ingram "Is There A Parent In The House" is amazing!!! And Life Church In The Fire two part series, just pump this girl up!!

Moses second time ever to swing. He was absolutely loving it. I think the kids are hoping we will need more meetings.

Excited- It is that time of year again. What time of year? Visitors and teams!

Sad- A good friend is leaving the country. The turn over rate is for the birds, yo! Is it possible to miss someone who hasn't gotten on the plane yet, but just the thought of them going, you miss them already?! I think I already miss her!

Watching - VeggieTales. Introducing my little's to this epic and amazing show.

Mo and Becca, same day with meeting with A Voice For Rwanda. Yep, this picture is pretty accurate!

Sleeping- In shifts again. Hello.... crazy sleep cycle....we meet again!! I so need to stop taking naps when the little ones do, because when I do that, is when I wake up at hours, that no one should be awake at. (today 3:15am!)

Quilting- Wait, what?! Yep, working on my first Ketenge quilt. What can I say.... put on a podcast, and start sewing.... is relaxation to the T. Love it. I am a weird person who loves repetition. If it is the same thing over and over, I adore it. Yeah, I know, I am in a small percent of the world on that love.

Mo and Tarison enjoying some time in the tub..... perhaps so this mama could wrap up some paperwork. Never thought I would get the most work done, sitting on the bathroom floor while these little's splashed in the tub. Tarison is Mo's BFF for sure, and he is glad they get to play while Tarison's mama goes to class during the week.

Quote- "Loneliness is Gods cry for intimacy." COME ON. How often do we look at the lonesome times in our lives, as it being God crying out for more intimate time with us. The times where our heart is unguarded, and we press in closer to Him?! If some of the loneliest times I have had her, was so I could learn to rely on God more strongly, it was worth it 100%.

Needing- Some more donors. You always seem to loose a few in the cracks, when you switch. And in the midst of administrative (I guess that's the best word for it) changes, the bills still need to get paid, groceries still need to be purchased, Doctors appointments to make, medications to buy, and so forth. Right now in defenitatly a time of change, approaching on a new season, with many new exciting possibilities. But as we wade through the paperwork, interviews, paperwork, and more paperwork, we still have to do the daily life stuff. Any bit helps, you can click the donate  buttons on the right hand toward the top of this page to make a donation. I have seen the Lord provide, and its not my biggest concern. (there will be another switch though. Right now the donations are going to my paypal, and then once I am under the missions org, it will then switch to them. Which then I am sure I will loose a few in that switch again as well! Oy vey!)

My little helper! Rebecca loves to help me mix, measure, and stir. Friday dessert and a movie for the kids. We have been making lots of banana bread. :)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Whatever I have is yours Lord. . . . .

I never graduated high school..... never walked down a aisle to receive a diploma. I did however get my GED. Quiet shocked may I add, because I just went for a practice run with the tests to see what I needed to work on, and passed em all!

I never went to prom, and had the corsage around my wrist.

Heck never dated in my life. Never been interested actually, and dont think I ever will be.

I lived in a group home for a few years.

I have lived in a SAF house.

I have lived on the streets, scared out of my mind, sleeping and hiding from people. I saw the eyes diverted, I saw how badly they didnt want to see you, so instead I just made it easier on them and myself, and hid most the time. Unable to stay in a homeless shelter, and bound determined to make it on my own... I dug my heels in the ground.

I have never won a beauty contest.

My arms are riddled with careless scars, from self harm. I started to self harm way before it was ever discussed, many many years passed before I even had a name for it, or heard it ever mentioned. I was 6, and stood at the top of the stairs, and leaned forward and let myself tumble down. I broke fingers. I slammed my wrist hard against the door frame. It wasn't till middle school till I began to "cut". Carelessness in the midst of being high, drunk, or overdosed, I didn't care or realize any longer where I was doing it. And now my story remains evident. I notice people staring at my arms from time to time, at the scars. And I live in a country now, where if you get offended easily.... well, you better pack up and go home, or just crawl in a hole and never make your presence known.

I have more knowledge about drugs than I care to ever admit. I have peered out a window, paranoid, sniffing, from cocaine...... worried the police, or someone I didn't want to disappoint would show up at the door.

I have no college degree hanging on my walls. I have no high school diploma. I have no pictures of me in a pretty white dress. I have no high school proms pictures. I have no newborn pictures from the hospital of the kids who call me mom.

Why do I say all this? Because we all have SOMETHING, we can do, have something to give. It took some time, for me to have enough faith to crawl out of some pretty deep pits. Now sometimes when I think on the past, or even sometimes when I catch my own eyes glancing down on the scars. It doesn't feel real. I don't feel like that was my life at all. Because that is not who I am today, and it is so far removed from who I am now, my dreams, desires, hopes, and aspirations, I wonder who that was, that was stuck in those places.

I love to cook, and think I am alright at it. So to the glory of God, I will cook. I can use that, to bless someone. Maybe a tired single mom. Perhaps a elder who works full time, and rushes home to set up for bible study, and his wife is exhausted. I can bring their family dinner, so it is one less thing off their plate. (figuratively). I can cook, because it always tastes better when someone else cooks it. So I will cook to the glory of God.

I love kids, and have always had a way to be around them. So to the glory of God, I will be present, I will invest, I will tuck in, kiss booboo's, sing songs, kneel down after a time out, give and recieve the hugs, rub my tired eyes, and go to the crying child in the middle of the night. To the glory of God I can teach, invest, and love on the little's in front of me.

I love to sew. So to the glory of God, I can use that to encourage people. Weather it is a quilt, a cross stitch. As I sew, praying for them. To the glory of God I can sew.

I used to wait, till I thought I had something to offer. But I have always had something to offer. We always have something to offer. There is a lot I am not, but there is a lot that I am. Not because of anything in me. But because my God is so big, so loving, so just, so merciful, and so full of grace. That whatever I do have, I want to use to honor him. My voice my crack sometimes when I speak up. My hands may tremble when I am in any kind of group of people. But we have something to offer. And I don't want to wait to offer what I do have to my God. I want to love people, because he loved me so much, at my lowest points. I want to love people when they deserve it the least, because heaven knows that's when I needed it the most in my own life.

If we wait for the money to be there, before we take a leap of faith, we never will. If we wait for someone who is worth investing in, to invest in someone, we never will. If we wait till we think our gift is worth giving to give it, we never will. Whatever it is you possess right now, this instant, is what was given to you, to invest, to the glory of God.

Colossians 3:23
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters."

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Rediscovering my imagination.

So this morning, I saw Moses and Rebecca hitting rocks
with some sticks. Sticks seem to be a favorite in this home as
a toy. So it sparked my imagination..... and I got to work.
First to make the golf clubs. A five iron? I have no idea
what each club is called, just a five iron. So we will just go ahead
and say they are all five irons. Or five cardboards.
And then to make a ball light enough for the five iron cardboard
to hit.
Some of the sticks where not golf club worthy/ strong enough.
So we had to go ahead and improvise to get some stronger ones.
Moses was pretty excited at my experiment.
And we have golf..... kind of.

The start of the Rwandan Olympic golf team?

Its funny how kids can reawaken your imagination.
But I guess its time I go be the adult, take a shower,
and get some house work done, while the kids play
some golf outside. :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Currently in April

"Imperfect changes are slow steps of progress wrapped in grace." ~Unglued

Currently -

Reading- Unglued. So good, so convicting, so encouraging.

Listening- to hymns like crazy. I may or may not have sat on the front porch this morning belting out hymns for a hour before the kids woke up. So sorry to anyone in ear shot.

Eating - Salad like there is no tomorrow. Found some lettuce in Kigali, and trying to use it all up before it goes bad. Be. Still. My. Heart.

Drinking- Water. Who knew when I got headaches and thought it was a caffeine headache, it was more my body crying for water. Though I hoped cutting out caffeine to one coffee in the morning, meant my RLS would chill. Not so. I so have my mothers RLS. Booooo.

Needing- Sponsors for Flora and Alice for the second term of school. It is just $125 that covers their school fee's and transport. If you want to sponsor one of these lovelies, click the donate button for the girls needs to the right. Its over there somewhere. It is coming up soon too, next week. Eeeeeeeeek.

Confused- By Alice's biopsies that came back negative for TB and cancer. We need a diagnosis in order for a treatment for the mass. Diagnosis would be good. Working on some other options.

Praying- a whole lot these days. Feeling so close to my God lately. Esp in the early morning, as the birds call out, telling you the light of dawn is about the break through the darkness of night, with my one and only for the day cup of coffee and my bible on the front porch. Those early mornings with the Lord on the porch, is what sustains me through the day.

Planning- A trip to Kenya for a few days in May. The fact that they have frozen yogurt there, has nothing to do with the choice of places.

Excited- To eat frozen yogurt next month in Kenya for a few days. It’s the little things peeps.

Prepping- for the second term of school for everyone in the house but Mo man. Oh the flurry.

Loving- whatsapp. It has changed this girl’s life. Texting with friends in the states for free. It's pretty legit.

Sleeping- like a rock. Valor and Peace & Calming Essential oils in the diffuser, rain or ocean waves on the sound machine. And Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. . . . .

Learning- That I need to let the Lord take care of me, and sometimes that means taking care of myself. Like taking a morning each week to get away for a few hours. That's not always easy for this mama to do though.

Watching- Frozen. A million times. Yep, the craze is here too.

Thankful – For my little Mo man. Last night I was crying and he walked in. Silently he walked over to his mama, hugged me gently, and then wiped the tears like I do when he is crying. Even if he tried to use my hoodie, and got me with the zipper in the eye.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

One more week to wait

Two weeks ago Alice had surgery here.
And we were so happy to bid farewell to King Faisal hospital
for a little while.
A week from today we head back to the hospital
to get the biopsy results.
If there is a way for your soul to hold its breath,
my soul is holding its breath.
Please pray with me, as we wait for the biopsy results.
Pray for the CT scan we will get when we go back,
the ultrasound, the biopsy results.
My biggest fear is it will come back positive for
drug resistant TB.
Please pray against that diagnosis!!
This is her previous CT scan.
The darker spot on the bottom is the mass.
I am praying for a very drastic different CT scan
on the 9th when we go back.....
Breath.... trust..... bold prayers......
So I am pleading with you to join me in praying for Alice!
Girl came back from surgery, and came home and was
determined to finish her national exams at school.
And she did just that!
Education is power to change the future!
And Alice has been going back to the school as much
as she can, to continue to study during the holiday break.
I continue to be amazed!
Night before surgery, pizza and movies in her room.
I know my God is big! And I know he is still in the business of healing.
I also know that he can deliver us from, in, or by the fires.
This girl holds such a huge place in my heart.
Pray with us in this last week of waiting.
Mark you calendars.
April 9th.
In Christ,

Monday, March 31, 2014

Dishpan hands...... at rest.

The stress lately is just melting off from me. Which is not something you often hear me say. Usually I am being crushed under the weight of the stress. I have been trying to take care of myself emotionally, physically and spiritually. I am the person who gets tripped up often, and finds myself toiling in the kitchen. I worry that if I do not prepare the food, it won’t be there. And then I take it a step further, and worry about how good the food is for those who are going to eat it, and then try to adjust the menu so that there is something everyone wants to eat. Then I worry how much everyone is eating, or not eating. Then I find myself in the kitchen washing the dishes, and then worrying about tomorrow’s meals. Call me Martha! My fingers are wrinkled from soapy water. I smell of the burnt chicken in the oven. My elbow grease is lathered all over the place in my frantic efforts to get things done. My name is Martha.
When I read the story in Luke, I find myself relating more to Martha than Mary. I can feel the strain in her muscles, the sting in her eyes, the water on her hands.

But the great thing is that Martha’s can change. We can become Mary’s. And the last few days the stress has been melting away, because in those moment I find myself bent over a hot stove, with wrinkled hands for being submerged in the soapy water. I start to grumble! And then I realize what I am doing. I realize I am in the kitchen slaving away, slaving away at the wrong thing! And then I relocate myself to being sitted at his feet. Like my prior post, where I am realizing I have no control and learning to let go. You cannot let go of something without replacing it with something else. In this case, it is replacing it with my location. Relocating myself to being at his feet.

“Martha, Martha.” The Lord answered “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” ~Luke 10:41-42

I still find myself from the other room calling out to the Lord “Lord don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” ~Luke 10:40b

It is pretty lonely and miserable in the kitchen. I am not sure what Mary was doing at that moment as she was prepping for her guests. I mean, God himself was her guest. I am sure she felt the pressure for sure. But in those moments when I find myself worried and upset about many things, and my fingertips still dripping with soapy water. I realize how hard I am trying to work in my own power. How I am trying to earn. Works. And often when I am at his feet, I still have the suds from the dishes on my hands.

With soapy hands and at His feet. I might not be lacking the soapy hands, but I am learning to relocate. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Remember surrender

There is peace in the surrender.
When you loosen your grip on things, and feel the blood rush back into your knuckles, from clinching on so tighly.
You see, I have this revolving door, I seem to get stuck in all the time. I give something up, and then in the stillness of the morning, as I lay in bed, staring into the darkness of the ceiling, and find my mind so focused on that thing I gave up. I realize I picked it back up at some point. And then go back to lay it down.
And each time I lay it down a peace comes over me.
A peace that I am not in control.
A whisper that softly echo's into my heart that says...... "I got this. You are not in control, I am. I will fight for you, you need only be still. Nothing happens beyond my knowledge, and I am still on the throne. Let it go, dont carry more than you were created to carry. Let me, I am the great I Am."
"Remember surrender
Remember the rest
Remember that weight lifting off of your chest
And realizing that it's not up to you and it never was

Remember surrender
Remember relief
Remember how tears rolled down both of your cheeks
As the warmth of a heavenly father came closing in
I want to do that again
Why can't I live there
And make my home
In sweet surrender
I want to do so much more than remember

Remember surrender
Remember peace
Remember how soundly you fell fast asleep
In the face of your troubles your future still shone like the morning sun

Remember surrender
Remember that sound
Of all of those voices inside dying down
But one who speaks clearly of helping and healing you deep within

I want to do that again
Why can't I live there
And make my home
In sweet surrender
I want to do so much more than remember
Oh surrender"
~Sara Groves - Remember Surrender
I cannot control pretty much anything. I can however love people. I can determine my attitude. I can choose to lay it down again and again and again. And wake up tomorrow and choose to lay it down 100 more times. Because somehow I find it hard to leave there at his feet. But I think he honors it though. I think he honors the surrender. Even if you have to surrender 100 times in a day. Its the time you white knuckle it, and try so hard to change things that are not yours to change, that it greives him.

Sitting at his feet and letting it go,

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Swirling thoughts on new life

The first day of spring. Spring. New life. The cold starts to melt away, the ground softens, the air warms, the sun is brighter, the days longer, the ground fertile, and new life begins to spring forth. I learned on the Bouffard farm as well, that this is the season when the sheep and goats start to give birth as well. It seems like everything starts to burst forth in new life. Though I find myself in a country so close to the equator, I get to skip the cold and snow part.
Today holds such signifigance to me. There are some days, that are engraved in your brain. Today was the day that mom was born into the world, and also the day that my 13 month old nephew was promoted to eternity in 2000. Two very signifigant lives to me. I cant help but find my thoughts wander to them. Holding Cameron, and also walking across that funeral home to the tiny casket. Rubbing his skin, because even though I knew he was not there anymore, I couldnt stand to hold my nephew so cold in my arms. It makes me think of my mom. I find lately in the last year I think of her often. I wonder if she would just freak out that I am living on the other side of the world. I wonder what she would think. When she died and I held her hand, and saw her eyes look past me before walking into eternity. I know where she is right now. I dont know how that goes up there. I dont think though that the look down on us. (This is just my thoughts and feelings).
Because to me, if I was faced with God. GOD. A God so big that merely his robe can fill the temple. A God who is justice, hope, love, holy, and righteous. I know I would probably want to look at nothing less than the one who knit me together, knows and holds all things. So from time to time, I just ask the Lord to tell her how her little girl is doing. Her "caboose". It draws my mind back, to sitting next to her hospital bed, so in tune with her every breath, as she was ushered closer and closer to eternity. Dipping sponges in watermelon juice and wetting her lips. The nights she woke up at 3:00am, and had the most lucid amazing conversations. I was so glad I got to be there, next to her bed, and have our middle of the night chats. Still the tv fixed on the news.
New life. Eternal life. When all else fades away, and new life bursts forth. I think on my nephew too. I wonder sometimes about his personality. I wonder if he would have been soft spoken or loud. Into sports, or arts. I look forward to the day that I can really get to know him in eternity someday.
Spring. Today is the first day of spring. And my soul and heart grapple with new life. I think on them being ushered into eternity. I ask the Lord to pass on little messages to my mom. And as Easter approaches, my heart is drawn to hope. Because He has conquered, and my God is alive.
Yeah, just thinking on the keyboard today. Miss you mom and Cameron. Cannot wait someday to meet you on the streets of gold. To bow before our creator together. And as my heart dwells on the new life, the new life available to all of us, the new life we can choose everyday in Christ. I am thankful. I am thankful for tiny nephews you can get to know in eternity. I am thankful for 3:00am conversations on hospital beds. I am thankful for eyes that dance as you hold your mothers hand as she walks into eternity.
Happy Birthday mom, and happy eternal promotion day Cameron. Love you both so much! <3

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Update on Alice as well- She had surgery yesterday is doing well. We don't really know anything yet. We had some Dr's come and ask some more questions, but we are still waiting on the surgeons to come in and talk to us. But she is good, walking around, and watching French movies. So I am totally lost. ;) They know waaaay too many languages.