Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
you who have never given birth!
Break into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem,
you who have never been in labor.
For the desolate woman now has more children
than the woman who lives with her husband,”
says the Lord.
2 “Enlarge your house; build an addition.
Spread out your home, and spare no expense!
3 For you will soon be bursting at the seams.
Your descendants will occupy other nations
and resettle the ruined cities.
we were like those who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
3 The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Join me at Wordless Wednesday, A Beautiful Mess, Faded Charm, My Life in Jenga and Live and Love Outloud.
Monday, December 20, 2010
For some years now, the wedding invitations that had once crowded the mailbox had been replaced by shower invites and pink-or-blue-beribboned baby announcements. I bought onesies or rattles, wrapped them in yellow paper, and delivered them to friends. I had done it with a happy wistfulness, believing that someday my time, my baby, would come. George and I had hoped that I would be pregnant by the end of his congressional run. Then we hoped it would be by the time his own father announced his presidential run, then by the presidential primaries, the convention, the general election. But each milestone came and went. The calendar advanced, and there was no baby.
The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only “I’m sorry for your loss.” But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Blood alone moves the wheels of history. ~Martin Luther
I Peter 1:18-23
18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.
21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.
22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters.d]" style="font-size: 0.75em; line-height: 0.5em; ">[d] Love each other deeply with all your heart.e]" style="font-size: 0.75em; line-height: 0.5em; ">[e]
23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
While doing laundry, I find myself asking, "Why is the (tumble) dryer SO big??"
While planning meals, I find myself confounded on what I used to make here, which spices I need, and how to budget in dollars.
While interacting with people, the realization that for me and Arno, being from two different cultures, means one of us is ALWAYS different and doesn't "quite" blend in. Now Arno is wearing that hat....
....and more things that are still revealing themselves to me.
Reverse culture shock is so very strange. How can you forget the culture that you grew up in --well, sort of grew up in -- the culture of my family, at the very least, the culture that I lived in for 10 years before moving away?
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Today is the day that we leave on a jet plane, not knowing when exactly that we will be back again.
I wrote a few weeks ago about how life is a bittersweet symphony, and it is true. I feel that keenly today.
My Facebook wall is filled with mixed messages…
“I don’t want you to pack” and “I miss you already”
“I can’t wait to hug your neck” and “I am counting down the days.”
And so the pages turn….
But love....love carries on. It is not quantifiable; it cannot be measured by the color of your skin, the place you are born the language you speak, or the way you style your hair.
While America is the country of my passport , my accent, & my immediate heritage, Haiti is the country of my birth & my original “people” and South Africa is the country of my husband, my adult maturing, & some of my BIG TIME grace learning. So no matter what country I find myself in, there are people that I will miss and others that I will hug and have coffee with (figuratively since I don’t actually drink coffee). :) :)
So here’s the thing: When you truly love people, saying goodbye is NEVER easy.
And while tomorrow, I will hug my sister for the first time in 9 months (and I can’t wait), there are “sisters” (and brothers) here whose embraces I may not feel for just as long or longer and my heart truly feels that sorrow.
I will miss biltong and pepperdews and fresh avocado MOST of the year
I will miss no humidity basically year round.
I will miss the diversity of cultures and languages all in one place.
I will miss living in our God-given house.
But mostly I will miss the faces…..
…the faces of the children greeting me on Sunday mornings
…the faces of my disciples walking through the door of our house on Monday nights
…the faces of my leaders challenging me in the Word and laughing at LIFE
…the faces of “my boys” as I walked into the office every day, into the sanctuary they called the Wisdom Academy
...the faces of friends JUST happy to see MY face
...the faces of diversity & culture, of laughter & sorrow, of joys & fears….
So today, I say, “Goodbye, Rainbow Nation!”
But just for now…..
I will see you again soon!
You can count on that!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Uncle Jakes & Auntie Gloria
....and my favorite of the week for Sweet Shot Tuesday and Communal Global where I am linking up to both for the first time this week. These two faces are coming with me on the next step of the journey....it's nice to take a few familiar things with you...:)
Monday, September 6, 2010
the state of feeling grateful
~36. Ability to be able to GIVE because of the change
~37. Learning to lay down the idols in my life
~38. Freshly cut flowers gracing my home
~39. Change in weather -- loving the smell of spring in South Africa
~40. The smell of freshly varnished wood (reminding me of my childhood)
~41. Receiving and giving love even in "good-byes"
~42. People who touch our lives -- for seasons, for reasons, or for a lifetime
I have joined The Gratitude Community -- a place to be inspired by others and what God is doing in their lives, a chance to share my own journey of gratitude, and an opportunity to REMEMBER to be grateful in ALL things. So every Monday, I will add to my list of 1000 gifts of all the graces God has provided in my life. Would you consider joining me? Even if you don't blog, you can join the gratitude community by starting a gratitude journal, mentionning your gifts on Facebook, or sending e-mails to your friends. Let's work together to help in creating a more thankful, joyous world.
Do know what I am talking about? Are you like this too??
My loving Father has been steadily hammering in this point into my consciousness recently:
Why are you finding your identity in your successes, accomplishments, goals, acheivements??
Why do you NEED to feel "important" by having something to show up to the world as proof of your value?
I read a post by Ann Voskamp recently that named what this thought process really is -- IDOL WORSHIP. If what I have to present to the world, to the Father is of more value than my connection TO the Father Himself, then that ONE thing(s)becomes my idol.
OUCH! Really?? In wanting to please Him, I become an idol worshippper!! That hurts! But yet, it is still so true....
I have been getting "back into" Oswald Chambers' My Utmost For His Highest again over the last month. His words are straight-forward, hard-to-swallow (at times), and direct to the heart, past all the "stuff" that we hold up to make ourselves feel holy and good. I wanted to share today's devotional with you because it encouraged and challenged me....
The Far-Reaching Rivers of Life
He who believes in Me . . . out of his heart will flow rivers of living water —John 7:38
A river reaches places which its source never knows. And Jesus said that, if we have received His fullness, “rivers of living water” will flow out of us, reaching in blessing even “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 ) regardless of how small the visible effects of our lives may appear to be. We have nothing to do with the outflow— “This is the work of God, that you believe. . .” ( John 6:29 ). God rarely allows a person to see how great a blessing he is to others.
A river is victoriously persistent, overcoming all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, but then comes to an obstacle. And for a while it is blocked, yet it soon makes a pathway around the obstacle. Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, only later to emerge again even broader and greater than ever. Do you see God using the lives of others, but an obstacle has come into your life and you do not seem to be of any use to God? Then keep paying attention to the Source, and God will either take you around the obstacle or remove it. The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles. Never focus your eyes on the obstacle or the difficulty. The obstacle will be a matter of total indifference to the river that will flow steadily through you if you will simply remember to stay focused on the Source. Never allow anything to come between you and Jesus Christ— not emotion nor experience— nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.
Think of the healing and far-reaching rivers developing and nourishing themselves in our souls! God has been opening up wonderful truths to our minds, and every point He has opened up is another indication of the wider power of the river that He will flow through us. If you believe in Jesus, you will find that God has developed and nourished in you mighty, rushing rivers of blessing for others.
Father, help me to keep my focus on the Source, not on the influence, achievements, or successes in my life, but truly on YOU alone. I cannot change this without Your help. Where I am so weak, may Your strength be revealed.
"We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love." (2 Corinthians 6:6)
Saturday, September 4, 2010
This week I shared on how saying goodbye is bittersweet and how blessed I am to be celebrating 5 years of marriage with my sweetheart.
THOSE WHO SHARE MY JOURNEY
I discovered Gypsy Mama this week. I connected with her story so amazingly as someone who married someone from another culture and living in 3 different countries/cultures. Her writing style will appeal to you even if her story isn't the same as yours.
Holley at Heart to Heart with Holley encourages my heart in my own journey as she has also struggled through the process of becoming a biological mommy. (She and I also have the same wedding anniversary! Cool!)
Gitzen Girl's story has challenged and inspired me as she is dealing with a chronic illness much worse than what I have experienced. It has changed her whole life, yet she walks in faith and in beauty in her walk with the Father.
Ray at Student of Jesus shares with us the lost art of front porch sitting. It is more than you think. Check it out!
I found an old post from Ann Voskamp at Holy Experience in my wandering this week that challenged my current relationship with my Father in prayer.
Glenn Packiam, a fellow ORU alum, shares about something that the Father has been consistently reminding me of this year: HIS LOVE.
JUST FOR FUN
Adding Zest to Your Nest shares some random fun for you to add to your marriage to spice things up. :)
Metropolitan Mama talks about sharing the beloved Anne of Green Gables with her oldest daughter....(I just LOVE ANNE -- really!!).
Are you a night owl or an early bird? Check out Jennifer's post at Conversion Diary to see the pros, the cons, and the "somewhere in betweenies."
The WOW Factor
Tim & Steph along with their two little girls have decided to sell almost all of their possessions and travel in an RV and GIVE EVERY DAY. You SO have to check this out...it challenges and amazes me!
I hope that you are having an amazing weekend and that one (or more) of the above posts will warm your heart as they have mine!
Linking up today with:
Check out her posts and browse through the other bloggers who linked up for the party for this weekend.