Friday, May 29, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
It's Mother's Day tomorrow. Just when I started feeling sorry for myself, because I'm so far from my mom, I was reminded of how good I have it. Martin prayed this at bedtime tonight, "Please help my mom know I'm ok and she shouldn't worry about me..."
Whoa. Ok, God, I have no right to complain. Sure, I haven't seen my mom since last summer. But growing up, I saw her every day. I'm taking care of a little boy who is half my age and hasn't seen his mom in that long either. Except even when he DOES get to see her again, he is unable to live with her and see her on a daily basis. Life is unfair....it shouldn't be like that. In Uganda, when the husband dies, all of his money/belongings goes to his family. The wife is left with nothing. (That's one of the main reasons most of our kids are living in orphanages...)
All that to say, the older I get, the more I appreciate my mom. I could write a novel on here about how wonderful she is, but for the sake of time/space, I'll make it brief.
When I was young, I appreciated my mom. But at the same time, I think I took her for granted. I guess I thought every child had a mom as amazing as mine....but the older I got, I realize that is certainly not the case. I am fortunate to have a mother like mine, who literally puts her family first in everything she does and every decision she makes. Her cooking is out-of-this-world (ask any of my friends!!), her patience is more than I'll ever have ;) , and her love for us seems endless. I can confide anything in her....and I appreciate that despite her busy schedule, she always finds lots of time to talk to me over the phone.
My mom and I are so different when it comes to our taste in movies, decorating, music, etc....but I'm finding that I'm becoming more and more like my mom in many ways, the older I get. I know this, because I've caught myself reprimanding/disciplining the kids the same way my mom handled me growing up! The little sayings and mannerisms are the same, unintentionally.
Not seeing her for nearly a year has been rough, but I appreciate and respect her even more. I love you and can't wait to see you soon!
This past week was quite enjoyable, with multiple days where Gift and Martin (I'm in a host fam with them) could just chill, play, and be boys (which translates to: ride scooters and Ripsticks outside for hours at a time...) Sunday night-Tuesday we were hosted by Tammy + Tommy, a wonderful family in Tennessee. The boys and I had an unusual treat of staying in a neat lodge-style house all by ourselves, several minutes down the road from the family. We appreciated the downtime on Monday (it felt like we were on vacation!).
We were in Kentucky Tuesday-Friday, and I absolutely loved my time with that host family (Wade and Lisa). Their children were precious! Logan played so well with Gift and Martin, and I instantly fell in love with little 6 yr old Emily. Her southern accent was darling. The night I arrived, she asked me if we could paint our nails. She also asked me to help her with homework, so I did (I now know I could at least homeschool my kids through Kindergarten!) I loved her sweet spirit, her humor, and the fact that she is so girly yet also into hunting, fishing, etc. Lisa (her mom) was an amazing cook, and she spoiled us with homemade EVERYTHING (apple butter--yum!!--, strawberry jam, applesauce, and cinnamon buns.) I think my bedroom at their house was the most unusual I've stayed in....each night when I went to sleep, I had 8 pairs of mounted deer eyes staring right at me. Slightly unnerving, but I'm a big girl, so I could handle it :)
I hope you all have had a relaxing and rejuvinating weekend. And a huge congrats to my dear friends at Liberty who graduated today! (Erin, Dachelle, Sheila, Christi, Chad, Mitch, Sarah...the list could go on.) I was there in spirit and prayed throughout the day for y'all. So proud of you guys.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Fast forward two years later...two days ago, I flipped open my copy of My Utmost for His Highest. On the "April 29" page, there were the markings I made several years ago. I saw the title: "Gracious Uncertainty" and instantly knew it would be a much-needed reminder of God's perfect timing.
In a month and a half, this tour is over. The kids will return home (I can't think about that right now!), and I am unsure of the next step for my own life. Does that scare me? Most definitely! But God has never failed me. And He never will. If we are willing, He will use us. So even though my future is uncertain at this time, I know He will continue to guide me.
Here are exerpts from "April 29" (My Utmost...) for you to enjoy. Read it slowly and carefully (maybe even out loud.) I pray it encourages you, wherever you are in life.
Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life— gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God — it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, ". . . unless you . . . become as little children . . ." (Matthew 18:3 ). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, ". . . believe also in Me" (John 14:1 ), not, "Believe certain things about Me". Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in— but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.