Showing posts from 2014

Not a Waste

In our last prayer letter, we mentioned a tree planting ceremony we had for Dad. That was back in July, I think, and now it's November, so clearly I'm not doing great with my updates! But as much as I consider myself a "thinker," not a "feeler"; as much as I 'deal with it and move on,' I have to confess this stuff with loosing a parent isn't easy. I've not found it easy to face the feelings and emotions, and have discovered what a cowardly avoid-er I actually am when it comes to unpleasant things!

But this tree-planting was a great idea, given to us by great friends, Don and Jane Jones here in Nairobi. It opened a can of worms the day we did it--Ethan in particular had emotional melt-down after melt-down, and I myself was on the grumpy side (though don't let Chad know I'm admitting it!) But it did, in an inexplicable way, give us something concrete to funnel our sadness into, or to remember Dad in a way that wasn't too raw or pa…

Top Ten Pet Peeves--I just have to let it out!!!!

Ok, I don't let myself linger on the negative very much, because every place has it's good things and it's challenges. And what can you do about the challenges, anyway? We do love being here, and no place is perfect. But I have to admit--as I'm cleaning African-mud messes or stuck in crazy traffic, I sometimes sooth myself by "writing" crabby blogs in my head. Is that strange????

Well, this week has had some doozies, and it's been too long since I've written anything, so I'm giving in to my need to vent. So here are the top ten things, in no particular order, which send me to my knees in a semi-futile attempt to give thanks in all situations!!!

Large, important buildings (say, hospitals!) that are built with no thought of parking for the people that just might come use the services. I've literally spent an hour in 'traffic' inside the parking lot.Parking attendants who don't actually "attend" to anything at all. I asked o…

A long run--part 2

So my last musings ended on a low note. Tired. Discouraged. Overwhelmed. Real.

And I want to enumerate on three things that have come out of these past few weeks for me. One I've had an inkling of over the years, and the second I've known all along but I want to make sure to publicly confess it to make sure you don't miss it. The third is a new lesson altogether.

1. Obeying God does not guarantee a life of ease. I believe this is one of Satan's masterpiece-lies to make us feel like we're wasting our time when things get hard, to make us doubt God's goodness, to  make us feel foolish for trudging through the grime of life as if there is something noble about sacrifice and obedience. But friends, it is a lie! There IS nobility in the struggle. There IS grace in the pain and the fatigue and the discouragement of obedience. Jesus himself agonized until drops of blood fell from his forehead---imagine what he might have blogged that night had he been a different ge…

A long run--part 1

I've written so many blog entries since April 2nd and now. Like, 15 or 20. And they were great...inspiring or funny or maybe some of both. Of course, it would have helped if I'd actually written them outside of my head. But I promise, they really were great!

Well, there was one blog I did write. It was about a month ago, and my over-active guilt complex compelled me to write something new. So I wrote what was in my heart, and it wasn't very inspiring. Or it inspired the wrong thing--I finished it, re-read it, and burst into tears. So it was relegated to the "drafts" box, and I shut down the blog for another month.

But now it's the end of June, and it's been a shameful 3 months of silence. That's not right. So I'm going to post this, but it's not the end of the story.

May 28th: I'm tired. I mean, really, really tired. The kind that doesn't go away with a normal 8-hr sleep, even on those nights when the rats in our attic don't have …

What's it like to live in Africa????

Ethan had the joy of receiving a letter in the mail--the real mail, with a stamp and everything!--a first here in Africa for him. It was written by a sweet boy at one of our churches; a boy we've never met. Ethan was thrilled to get it, and he read it aloud for us. It was very sweet. And then came the line that gives me hives every time.

"What's it like to live in Africa?"

Not because it's not a valid question. I understand how inconceivable and incomprehensible living in Africa might seem. Yes, I understand why the question inevitably comes. The hives are a result of just how difficult that question is to answer.

How does one wrap up the experience of DIFFERENT in a concise sentence, as if the 26 letters plus punctuation could possibly be enough to bring clarity as to what it's like?

How does one describe the ease with which we pat ourselves on the back and say to God and others, "We've sacrificed so much. We're so Radical. Now give us what we&…

Times-Table Contentment

I read this great book--I've recommended it before, but if you didn't listen the first time...Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. She makes a great point of Philippians 4:11, when Paul writes, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances..." Learned. Not "I am especially and miraculously gifted." Learned. Like the grueling work my 9-year old dreads when facing the times tables. Learned with practice and more practice and then some more practice. Learned and then forgotten and then relearned. And there-in lies the rub. Because not everything is like riding a bicycle. I find contentment more like 7x8--that elusive thing you've learned so many times before but in the heat of the timed-math-test, it seems as unfamiliar as if you've never seen it before. Contentment.

I haven't written for the past month. Why, you ask?? Many reasons, but perhaps because I was stuck in traffic where the 2 lane road became 4 lanes with no warning, and I …

Safe and Sound and Exhausted

I've concluded that a 35 hour trip with 4 kids really is epic, and in a perfect world, should not be a routine part of life. I kept reminding myself that we won't have to do it again for 3 1/2 years, at which time our youngest will be nearing age 7. But...we survived in relatively good shape. There are no photos, however, because relative good shape does not need documentation...because relative is still relative!!!

Incredible friends, David and Jeweliann Norrie, saved us by insisting on driving us to the airport at 3:30 am in the Highland Baptist Church bus when it became apparent that the "free airport shuttle" from our hotel would not be able to handle our 16 trunks, 10 carry-ons, 2 car seats, and 1 stroller (odd, don't you think???). They also sat with your comatose kiddos while we checked in. Only 1 bag was overweight, by 1lb, and we had a very reasonable woman who didn't make us cut the zip-tie to rearrange weight! And then she confessed the flight was…