Wednesday, May 27, 2015

As we say here.  The time is R.U.N.N.I.N.G.  It has been nearly one month since I boarded a plane and began the journey back to Uganda.  And here I sit nearly one month later.  Sitting at the consultation desk listening to the mop hitting the bucket and water splashing around as the clinic is cleaned.  Music is coming up through the speakers of my computer.  The day is still young and I am embracing the quietness of these moments.  Soon, I anticipate that the floor will be muddied by the footprints of those needing assistance.  It rained early this morning and the ground is damp with moisture.  And even as I type this, the rain is pattering on the roof.  A light patter.  But a patter nonetheless.  

In so many ways, it has been SO good to be back.   And in between the SO are bits of transition, bits of hardness, bits of knowing that I have to depend on my Jesus.  And He has been so sweet to me.  One of the things that the Lord really impressed upon my heart was the need to have margin in my life.   
I wrote about it a few months ago.  My eyes had come upon it when I was reading a book.  

"Margin is a powerful concept.  It creates opportunities.  For businesses, margin is one of the top priorities.  Margin in business creates profits.  Margin in family creates memories.  Margin in our personal finances creates generosity.  Margin in our friendships creates significance and impact.  Margin in our lives overall creates options.  Options to pursue dreams, think, pray, relax, meditate, process, grow, and ultimately live life more fully." Brad Lomenick

It was so impressionable when I read it the first time.  It has been impressionable still to this day. 
A convicting salve to a heart that had been running at a cheetah's pace for entirely way too long.  
And not necessarily in a good way.  The pace had left little room for... well the extra's of life.  
I knew coming back the pace He had showed me needed to remain.  
To be honest, I was a bit fearful about what that would look like coming back.  

My heart was convicted... but I wondered how long before the pulls and needs of life would drown out His convictions in my heart.  I knew I wasn't victim to the risk... to the threat.   I had a choice in each moment.  One that required attentive dedication, commitment, and obedience.

And it has been so sweet to see Him create margin in my life.  Almost every morning, I wake up and go out for a walk.  A walk near the secondary school and a jaunt down to the farm.  It's an opportunity to chat with my Jesus and to absorb the absolute beauty of His creation.  The view is breathtaking.  Absolutely breathtaking.  

And the days have been as He has ordained.  

Sweet moments of being with my family group.    We have been learning songs together.  Yours truly has been singing with them.  I only chuckle because my voice isn't necessarily solo quality, but the quality of our time singing together has been really neat.  

Moments of putting cool washcloths on the foreheads and backs of sweet children and adults burning with fever.  

Walking and laughing and walking some more.  Lots of walking.   

Pauses to watch the ants carefully walking up stalks of grass... or meticulously cross the path.    

Slashing and clearing the land around Wizeye's grave.  Doing so with dear friends who knew and loved him.  
Welcoming his momma and son over for an impromptu breakfast and tea.  
So so good to see her.  

Drives into Kampala.  Avoiding motorcycles and bicyclists.  Trusting (and praying) you will reach your destination. Watching God lead and trusting Him for the big requests of my heart.  

listening to lungs, cleaning wounds, and peering into ear canals.  

Peering into the screen and seeing loved ones on the other side of the ocean.   

Yep, these are just a few of the moments.  

Good and Hard.  Big and Little.  All important.  

Embracing what He has for me.  Embracing the margin.  Embracing His sweetness and care for me.  

Monday, May 11, 2015


The rhythmic sound of the grass being slashed is seeping in through the windows.  I am sitting on the brown couch... lounging would be a more accurate word..... bringing my fingers to the keyboard.  I can't quite believe that I am back.  Back Home.  I type that a bit cautiously because in so many ways, I just came back from home.  And so as I exhale from a delightful time of being in the States and inhale this coming season here.  I smile.  It is all good.  Embracing where He has me today.  


I've been chuckling over that word for the last near week.  

It's a good word.  Holding something closely.   Enthusiastically.  Willingly.  Often, this comes naturally.  I've had the sweetness of embracing so many around me in the last couple of days.  Greeting, reconnecting, laughing, remembering, and being.  All good.  All sweet.   The part of me that giggles is that sometimes I just choose to embrace something because it's the best thing to do. 

On the 6th, when I flew from London to Entebbe, I had to choose to embrace the day.  Nothing hugely wrong happened, but a lot of little things that made for an adventurous day.  When I was getting off my flight from Scotland in London, the flight attendant made it pretty clear that my carry-on had to shrink.  She was very gracious, but very clear.  It was too big.  It had grown in Scotland.  360 sachets of proper British Tea along with sachets of medication had joined the already full piece of luggage.  Once I arrived into London, I made use of the repacking zone.  Picking up a shaving razor, I attempted to cut the zip-ties on my big bins.  That was not the wisest thing to do.  Yes, I was able to cram some stuff into the bins (thus shrinking my carryon), but I also managed to slice my finger... twice.  Again, nothing huge.  Except that those two little cuts were determined to voice their presence.  And did they ever! Armed with a wipe, I attempted to hide the bleeding.  But that wasn't doable.  In the end, a sweet British Airway lady had fun dressing my wounds.  I arrived into security with a very impressive (and dramatic may I add!) bandage... one would have thought I had lost a finger.  The bandage came off quickly.   After all that, I needed the Loo.  And well, that too proved to be an adventure.  In the process of flushing, my boarding pass went bulls-eye into the toilet.  Back to a different British Airway lady... this time with a slightly pinkened face.  She was very gracious.  Smiled and let out a little giggle.  In the end, I got a new boarding pass... much to everyone's delight.  And then, before I knew it... I was boarding a plane to Entebbe.  Embracing. 

The embracing can look so different.  Sometimes, embracing is the ugly cry.  Sometimes, it's walking forward when every muscle in you wants to stop.  Other times, it's in the stopping.  

And so I'll keep embracing.  

The sweetness of seeing loved ones here.
The hardness of missing loved ones back in the States. 
The absolute beauty of this country.  The lush greenness and popping clouds. 
The emotions of transition.    

Will I do it perfectly?  Mmmmm... nope.   Not even close...

But I'll keep striving to embrace.  

And trusting as He leads me.  He's got this.  He's got me.  He's got you.  
And for that, I am very very thankful.  

I've mentioned that I have had the sweetness of connecting with so many.  The other night as I was hanging out at my friend Kate's house, I heard a vehicle go by.  I knew it was Ketty returning from chemo. It was late.... but I just had to say hi.  It was a joyous reunion!  So So So good to see her.  We talked briefly and set up time to spend time together the next day.  She looks so good.  And she informed me that I too looked good.  Adding weight here is a good thing and she had no problem pointing that out.  (Embracing.  ( c : )  When we got together the next day, we laughed about that...   It was SO good to sit and catch up.  We did a lot of sharing and a lot of laughing.  She had a coca-cola waiting for me along with Fried Kasava.  So love this friend!  

I feel like I have written so much.  The grass is still being slashed though the intensity of the rhythm has more frequent pauses.  The chatter in another language is also coming in through the windows.  

I leave you all dear friends.  My neighbor friend just became a momma and I have a little baby girl to hold.  

Let's all keep embracing.  
Whatever comes our way today.... may we embrace it.  
May we know that our God's got it.  And us. 

With so much love and thankfulness for each of you.  You all are a gift to me! 


PS.  Some extra pictures below.  
having a proper British snack on the plane a little while before arriving into Entebbe.
Clotted Cream?  Heard about it....

The view of Scotland.  Thanks Grams and Gramps for such a sweet gift.  
A dear friend.  Natasha and I walked over 40 miles around Scotland.  So many good laughs, chats, and adventures.