Friday, February 24, 2017

English Tea and Avocados

My feet have been on US soil for just over two weeks.  
According to my Fitbit I've barely made a dent in the 10,000 step goal each day. 
It's amazing how much walking I did in Uganda and how little I do here. 
But, if you were to ask my heart how many steps it's put in the last several weeks, it would probably be a bit out of breath to respond.  

God gave me two feet.  Never did I realize that at one point in my life, I would be, at my tender, not-so young age doing splits.  I've been told I am flexible, but I don't think the giver of those words was referring to my physical flexibility.  

But right now, as I sit at Starbuck's drinking the closest thing to English Tea, I find myself thinking of life in Uganda.  The only thing English Tea has to do with Uganda is my English friends in Uganda that have introduced me to PROPER English Tea.  Oh, let me tell you there is an ART to Proper English Tea.  Maybe my life is like a big game of Twister.  One foot in America, One foot in Uganda, One hand in England or wherever God has me.  

Are they getting rain?  How are the kids doing now that they have started back up at school?  
What's the water level in my tank?  Have the bats left my attic?  How's the child I walked closely with shortly before I left?  How are the staff in the clinic doing?  Wishing I could hop on over and share a cuppa of tea with a friend.  Would love to mess with little Mary and hold sweet Reuben.  To sit with my girls and hear how they are doing.  There are things I miss.  

All the while, I'm soaking in the here.  The sweetness of a heating blanket, the absence of the confused roosters greeting the day at all hours of the night or the discos that wax and wane throughout the night.  Long sleeves and boots.  Though, I quickly realized after my arrival that short boots seem to be more in than long boots.  Painting pottery and spending quality time with loved ones.  Organizing and planning for upcoming trips.  Hours long couch chats and holding friends babies.  Yes THIS is good.  

And THAT is good.  

And in the in-between.... well, it is just part of the journey God has me on.  

It is it easy?  No
Is it hard?  Yes.  
It it rich?  You betchya.  

This last month has been a cardio workout for my heart.  For my soul.  

The blog-world is a beautiful thing.  It's a place to bring words to a page and to share what God is doing.  I find that I can just as easily write out a near polished blog that honestly communicates my heart.  I've felt the freedom to be honest with the joys and the challenges of ALL the adventures that God has brought me on.  

And today is no different.  My life currently feels like a combination of random things all mixed together.  A recipe that makes doesn't make too much sense, but the end product, I trust is a satisfying bite.  

Hot chocolate and Avocados.  

Strawberries and Parmesan Cheese.  

chocolate and soy sauce.  

"They" Say these are great combinations.  I can't say I've tried any of them.  

But "they" say.  

And while it is probably not wise to depend fully on a "they say", 

I do have a choice to depend Fully on a He says.  .  

And those are the words, I have been digesting the last few weeks.  

Thus says the Lord,
    who makes a way in the sea,
    a path in the mighty waters,
Isaiah 43:16

The words that I have been chewing on first came to me on a modern day version of Alexander and the Terrible, Very bad, No good day.

I received it as I sat at the local hospital with a child who had walked through some very hard things 
It was a day where grace and kindness were NOT flowing out of me.  
It was a day where the waves of life felt like they were hitting me from every angle.  
I felt stretched more than unstretched.  
Weary more than not.
Angry more than joyful.  
Unheard more than heard.  
You name it, I was probably feeling it.  
That's the day it was.  And truth be told.  It was more than one day... it was several. 

And as I read those words, they only reached the back of my throat.  
I wasn't letting them make the 18 inch drop down to my soul.  

That's the truth.  

The pillow in my living room that said, "Today, I choose Joy".  
Well, I turned that pillow around.  

There were reasons to explain my emotions.  

I could list them.  Reasons that gave understanding to the emotions. 

Reasons help explain, but that's where they stop.  At least I think.  

I had a choice.   I leaned into my Jesus.  My raw, hurting heart and pressed.  

With one foot in this, and one foot in that, a hand in another and a toe there... I had a choice to lift my weary arm and to touch Him.  
And by ONLY His sweet grace, He took my lifted arm and helped me.  

I picked up that pillow on my couch and turned it around.  

I had a choice to choose JOY... and by His grace, and His grace alone, He honored the choice I made still loaded with emotion.  

Little did I know that the verses given to me on my Terrible, No Good, very bad day(s) would be words that I would fall back on.  

Words that would float through my heart and mind consistently.  

That day, God made a way for me when hardness felt like it was pressing in from every side.  

I've had the sweetness of having seen Him do it over and over.  

I haven't always had the heart and eyes to see Him as clearly as I did a month ago.  

And since stepping on a plane in Entebbe a few weeks ago, I've been presented with a Big question.  One that isn't ready to be published on social media.   

One that could change the trajectory of my life.  
One that I am open palmed to.  
One that i am pressing into Jesus with everything I have.  
Asking Him to make it clear.  
Asking Him to hold my heart.  

And even though my heart has vacillated between all the questions and thoughts,  what He showed me a month ago remains close to my heart.  

So, with one foot in Uganda, one here, and one hand holding a question that could change much,  

I lift my arm up and hold on to Him.  

And I trust that 

Thus says the Lord,
    who makes a way in the sea,
    a path in the mighty waters,
Isaiah 43:16