Friday, September 26, 2014

a lunch-date overlooking the lake.

It's well after 10 and for this young chic... it is way past my bedtime.  In my earlier days, the clock would often tick midnight before I found my pillow.  But as the years have gone by, my internal clock has demanded more sleep.  And I don't hesitate to comply.  Sleep comes quickly and before I know it, the roosters are greeting the day.  My eyes often open before seven somehow ready for the day.  Right now, my mind is refusing to let me sleep.  And so here I am bringing fingers to keyboard.  I've just nearly finished my vacation, my leave.  It has been a delightful 2 1/2 weeks of refreshment, relaxing, exploring, processing, and being.  It has been absolute food for the soul.  Good times with good peeps.  Tomorrow, I head back to New Hope.  I head back to a life I have come to love so much.  Today, as I sat at a restaurant overlooking one of Africa's largest lakes, I found my heart absorbing my surroundings.  I sat next to a couple having a last meal with one of their mothers.  They left so she could catch her flight.  As the wind blew on my face, I found my heart stirring.  It's been stirring for a while.  Today was the day for the stirring to find its voice.  I had brought my computer with me.  Nestled within my bag, I had hopped a boda boda and made the journey from the guesthouse to the restaurant.  Pulling it out, I found the words just pouring out.  So often, when I write, I write with the intention of updating my blog or writing with some other intention. Today, I wrote to an audience of One.  To my God.  And boy, did my heart cry out.  God has been challenging me to share my heart with Him.. it's been a theme for much of this year.  To be honest, I often pause, often struggle to do so with certain areas.  I have no problem acknowledging something to Him as hard... even opening up to a certain depth.  But with certain areas of my heart, I struggle to go much deeper.  And He has been so patient with me.  Nudging my heart.  Waiting patiently.  Yet, not absently.  And so today, the words flowed.  And my heart poured out.  And though I was sitting at a restaurant with a bunch of people, I seriously felt like I was sitting side by side with my God.  And in reality, I was.  And it was healing.  These last 2 1/2 weeks have been healing....have been rejuvenating...have been food for the soul.  Not because my life is in a bad place (anything could be further from the truth), but as is the case anywhere... life can grab you by the earlobes and propel you into a life full of busyness.  That busyness can become your worst enemy.  That busyness can stifle you, rob you, and distract you.  And today, with the wind blowing on my face and the sound of water in the distance, my heart tucked under the shadow of the last two weeks, opened up.  And my God and I sat.  And He listened as I poured out my heart.

Psalm 62:8
"Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us."

And that's that.  Thankful for His patience and His pursuance and His unwillingness to let me be stubborn with certain areas of my heart.  He wants it all.  And tonight, I give thanks for His pursuance with my whole heart.

Psalm 86:12-13
"I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.  For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol."

So thankful for my lunch date with my God today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A bit of Variety.

Last night, I found my way to a blog.  A blog that I have frequented for well over five years.  A message on twitter let me know that there was a survey to fill out.  It was seven questions long and the big request from the author was that those who chose to participate would be completely honest.  She wanted this so much in fact, that the comments would not be posted.  This sounded simple enough.  I like these kind of things.  And so I read through the questions and began answering them. My soul and fingers seemed congruent.  The words flowed.  And before I knew it, I was finished.  Finished as far as the blog was concerned.  Not finished on what had been stirred within my heart.  Honesty had been requested and what had spilled from my heart was not only honesty, but rawness and vulnerability.  Now, even 12 plus hours later, I am still processing.  This morning, I sat in a coffee shop and dialogued with my God.  The rawness continues.  The peace ensues.  

It does.  The peace has graciously ensued.  And maybe the word "ensued" is not the best word... because to be brutally honest, the peace has not only "ensued"... it has been present throughout these last months.  Supernaturally so, if you ask me.  

Present as I have looked at the lab work of our young man with serious kidney disease.  His kidney function has deteriorated seriously in the last month.  Before, we planned on how to maintain his kidney function and his life.  Now, the conversation focuses on next steps and facing the reality that his life on earth may be much shorter than it is longer.   Hard Conversations.  Hard Reality. If I were to hashtag this, it would say something like #hardhardhardallicandoistrust  but most times, life is more than a hashtag. (profound statement. ( c :  ) Watching a young man face death far sooner than I would like is very hard.  It puts any faith to the test.  It has surely challenged my own.   And it requires a decision to trust.  Trust in HIS goodness and His bigger plan.  Yes, for sure it is #hardhardhardallicandoistrust but it is also painful and sad, and everything in between.  Those feelings, those emotions are very much present.  His peace is also very much present.  I don't understand the peace, but I surely embrace it.  And I am thankful that it has been foundation ally present.  

And just as the peace has been present in supernatural ways.  Joy has also been present.  Joy in playing a game of monopoly with the kids in my family group.  I learned the word to pay and together, we laughed and laughed.  They were determined to buy everything they could and giggled with glee when it was time for a friend to "pay up".  Going to jail was a bummer... but was also met with laughter.  One boy stole the whole pile of $500 bills.  And tried to convince me he didn't take them.  Mmmm.  If he had swiped a few, I would have surely missed it.  Swipe the whole pile and well, it's hard NOT to miss.  I guess I am sorta thankful that he has not mastered the art of stealing.  Yep, I am very glad he hasn't.   Sasula! (PAY!)  Oh, if I had only had this word mastered months ago when I accidentally asked the waitress if she wanted us to vomit then or later... if only.... 

Yes, there has been peace and joy these last months.  And there has been tears, laughter, and other emotions.  Yep, a variety.  But life is a variety... isn't it?  Everywhere I look, there is variety.  There isn't just one type of ant or spider or rodent... but a multitude of different kinds.  I've come to know the varying variety found here in Uganda.  And though it's neat that there are a variety, I have to admit that I would rather focus on variety in other things.  

And this post is surely becoming the variety.  Ha! This past week Lyle and Ingrid came back to New Hope for a visit.  This couple is currently serving in the northern part of Uganda.  We were in the same training that started in January of 2013.  This past week, we met up with fellow students from that class.  We cooked traditional Ugandan food.  There was a chicken to kill.  Matooke to smash.  And things to share.  We had our fair share of laughter.  We also had our fair share of sharing the variety of things that had happened in our lives over the last year plus.  We cried together as we remembered baby Frank and mourned the death of U. Michael and A. Sarah's sweet baby boy.  We listened.  We prayed.  And at the end of the night, we all hugged.  A night was ending and a new day was preparing to start.  
The chicken on the way home...
The same chicken a short while
later! A lot happened between these

Preparing the food.... 
And we enjoyed the food too much.... didn't get any pictures in the moment! Oops! 

A. Sarah and I.  Co-workers.  Friends.  Fellow sisters.  
Rebecca.  A dear friend.  And about ready
to have her baby.  I predict a baby girl.  I predict
her name will be Kimberly.  haa haa! 

Kids, Kids, Kids.... just chilling out! 

And before I bring this post to an end.  I'll leave with you a variety of highlights and mid lights of the last month.

-Last week, my grams fell and broke her hip.  I've been able to talk with her a few times.  This last time, I welcomed her back from the land of morphine.  She sounded good on the phone.   I don't know what God has planned. I just know that my grams is my grams and I love her! Praying for peace for her soul and healing for that hip.
-I'm currently on leave.  God has worked it out for me to be able to spend much of this time with different friends.  I've been on leave officially for 1 day and thus far it has been absolutely delightful.  Absolutely restful.  And I've been Absolutely thankful.
-The vehicle that i was able to purchase thanks to so many of you who gave sacrificially will be coming soon.  And when I get behind that wheel, I will surely take a picture.  So thankful for this HUGE blessing.  And it is just that.  A HUGE blessing.  Thank you!
-Ketty has finished her second round of chemotherapy! She is doing well.  Yes, she is feeling the effects of chemo... but she is doing well.  And that is pretty amazing!
-Watched from thousands of miles away as many of my dear friends and family attacked my rental property.  The previous tenant moved out and let's just say there was a LOT of work to do.  A LOT.  God brought up an army and the house is already being shown... less than 3 weeks after I got the email from my tenant.  Amazing.  Thank you!

And I think I could keep talking... but I fear I may lose many of you.  I'll keep a variety to a minimal and will try and write some more later.

Love to you all.  Thankful for each of you.  He is good.  May we each know HIS peace no matter what we are facing.  May we rest in His goodness no matter what.

He is life and I rest in that today.

In Him,