Monday, January 27, 2014

Here With You



But it’s so special
When the silence
Is just a word between us two
The smiles will carry
The bad days over
And that is why I’m here with you
Then I’m so happy to be with you
[Eden's Bridge, All In A Life]

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

1. Hat
As much as I've done it already, I'm not sure I'll ever write a blog post that doesn't include Davie. Maybe I will someday. Ha! Anyways, this is a somewhat blurry picture, but I love it. That hat he has on? It was his prized possession, a gift from his dad. 

2. Antique
What better thing for this prompt than an old tractor from a near-by farm?

3. Something you are comfortable with...
Lily with her little Minnie mouse. Minnie makes everybody's world a happier place. Lily can snuggle with her and babysitter (aka: me) can have a nice morning because Minnie is there for Lily to play with!

4. Who is there?
Uh, oh. Somebody got caught!

5. A Door
I just love this picture of Lily. There is such curiosity of what is behind that door! (However, the basket beside her might give you a clue.)

Hope you all have a fantastic week!
P.S. How do you like the newer cleaner look at my blog? 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Best Face of 2013 | I Heart Faces Photo Challenge

It may not be perfect, but this is one of my favorites from 2013. It was only shot with a point and shoot, but the memories are priceless. The little neighbor boy who kicked off his shoes and just sat chilling in our doorway with his wire glasses, Jesus necklace, and "soldier shorts" that I bought for him. He won't be forgotten. 

Entering this into the i heart photo challenge

Surrender



Surrender. That word is like honey to my ears, like rain in a drought season, like a fish in water. This year I am focusing on that word. It's my one goal - to surrender all to God. It is the very breath of life in me. For when I surrender my life gets real, not sweet and easy, just real. What comes with real? Brokenness, but beautiful brokenness. Tears, but tears of love. Trials, but trials that bring growth. It brings me to my knees. It brings Grace, deeper than the oceans; it brings faith, big enough to move mountains; it brings peace, overwhelming peace.

Many say "I, I will not surrender." I say "Lord, make me yours." It is a powerful prayer. It can move me around the world and, at times, turns my life upside down. But it is when I quit saying "Lord, why did you do this?" that I have really surrendered. God is love. His whole being, it's love! He created this world for us. He didn't need us; He wanted us. He wanted you. He wanted me. If God loves us so much to create a whole new world, simply for sinners like us, then wouldn't you think that whatever happens is going to be good? Maybe not good in the sense of what we consider good, but God's good; God's love.

I didn't like it very much when God moved me to Africa. Nope. Not at all. I did not like that idea, but it was good. It turned my world around. It made me a different person. In that time I learned how to pray and I learned about fearless faith. I learned how to love and about contentment, even when there's been no water for 3 days. It was good. I didn't like it at all when my home was filled every day by Africans, but it was good. I, 100% introvert, needed to loose my space to the glory of God. It was my toughest trial in Africa, but I walk away having learned that it's not my space or time that matters, it's the people; those people who God loves so much. He wanted me to see them, interact with them, and be their friend. It was good.

When someone very close to me started to choose the wide, curvy path of life instead of the straight and narrow, that is when I started to say "Why, God, why?" And then I learned to surrender even those who I love so much. I learned, and am still learning, in this trial to be content and know that I am in the palm of God's hand, and this person too. I learn to pray, to pray without ceasing. I like to say I pray because "I believe in a God of miracles."

So I surrender. I want to be set-apart for God's glory and use. I want to be broken and battered. I want to love with the love of Christ. I want to serve and surrender.

To surrender, it's not to quit, but it's to begin.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Well, I sure am keeping up with blogging so far in 2014. Hopefully that will last the year out. Blessings for a good Sunday.
1. Photographer's Choice
We had our once a year snow last week, and I somehow got three siblings to let me take their pictures. Usually they don't like it, but I guess just being in the snow was all they cared about.

2. Lunch
Homemade chicken soup is perfect in the winter.

3. Starts with the letter "G"
Gorgeous

4. My Town
I have two towns which I claim as home now: Mwanza, TZ (my African and city home) and Liberty, KY (my old Kentucky country home). These rocks are famous landmarks in Mwanza.

5. Words to Live By
Just two words.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

silence


"I hear a lot of people say that the fear of death and the fear of public speaking are two of the main fears in my generation, but I disagree. I think it's the fear of silence. We refuse to turn off our computers, turn off our phones, log off facebook, and just sit in silence, because in those moments we might actually have to face up to who we really are. We fear silence like it's an invisible monster, gnawing at us, ripping us open, and showing us our dissatisfaction. Silence is terrifying." -Jefferson Bethke

he smiles in his sleep | Reminisce of Africa | The Davie Chronicles

It was the day we were to leave the beautiful land of Tanzania. The house was in much disarray of people packing up boxes to stay, giving away things we didn't need, saying our last goodbyes, cleaning, and last minute packing. Countless trips to give the neighbors another bag of flour or beans or crayons and lots of paper were made. Sweet 11 year old Diana smiled and gave much thanks each time. When I went to their house in the afternoon I found her sitting in the living floor with a crayon in her hand and paper strewn across the room. My heart soared.

The kids were in and out. Breakfast and lunch were served by our dear neighbors and was made of our favorites: chapati, lemon-grass tea, rice, plantain, chicken, and beef. By the time Davie came running in, we'd have yet another item for him to take home with him. Then the time came when we were packed. It was all ready to go. Mom and Kat were busy doing laundry, hoping it would dry by morning, my sisters were cleaning, my Dad was making sure everything was right, Jonathan, well, I don't know what he was doing. I was sitting in the living room holding my most favorite kid in the world.

I talked to Davie, and reminded him that I'd never forget him. I gave him a banana (his favorite). I got scolded by my sisters for not helping. Shanya and Danny came in at some point and we had a little party in the living room. I eventually decided to help my sisters, and got up to clean. When I was standing still Davie clung to me; when I was moving he was following up right behind. I couldn't get any work done! I looked into his big brown eyes and asked him if he wanted the kanga. "Yes!" was his reply. So, with the help of my sisters I tied the kanga around him on my back and carried him around like the African mama's carry their children.

Davie and Lazaro asked their mother for permission to join us for supper at another neighbor's home, and she said they could. Just before we left Davie disappeared into his house for a few minutes and came back out in his newest and best clothes: a simple black tee-shirt and white shorts. We all walked down the road and enjoyed a lovely dinner gathered around the living room of Neema and Baraka's home. Half way through, Davie fell asleep on my lap. I just sat there with him while the others visited.

When we got home his mother called me over and pulled some pictures out of an envelope. "This is Davie. This is Davie's father, here is me, and this is baby Lazaro, and then here is baby Davie." When she finished she put the pictures back into the envelope and handed it to me, "For you." Those pictures are among my most treasured possessions. I looked down at Davie and he was smiling in his sleep. "He's pretending to sleep," my father told me, "He just doesn't want to let go."





Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Memories, Dreams, and Reflections 2013

For those who don't know, half of my year was spent in Africa and more than half of this post is filled with Africa. Because of that trip, most of these photos are not very "professional." One of my goals this year is to explore my camera more and try to branch out on the photography more. However, seeing as I only used my good camera took time to edit photos before I went to Africa...the quality might not be as good as yours. But the memories are priceless.

Happy New Year!

1. Me
This is me in my most favorite place on earth. This is where my heart is.

2. I Love You
This too. That kid on my shoulders is my most favorite.

3. Still Laughing...
The day we went down the road to the abandoned food stand and pretended to own it. I love my sisters.

4. Winter Wonderland
We don't have much of a "wonderland" winter in my area of Kentucky, but what we do get almost every year is a huge ice storm. 

5. Birthday
Little sis entered the teen years this year. Oh, no!

6. Friends
besties forever.

7. I Was Inspired...
She'll never believe me, but this girl inspired me so much over the summer by her unconditional love to this little deaf and mute child. 

8. Spring Fever
Ahhh...to see that green again.

9. Travel or Vacation
A vacation amidst our stay in Tanzania! Seeing all the wildlife was so cool. 

10. Summer Days
On the shores of Lake Victoria. 

11. A Day In My Life


Half of my year was filled with lovely black kids and cooking and such. Now it's filled with a lovely white kid and taking care of her.

12. All Smiles
Oh, to see this sight again...I'd do anything for it. I miss it so much.

13. Autumn Harvest
We missed most of Autumn due to being across the world, but here's some of the Thanksgiving table decor. 

14. Family or Home
In Africa, and then America.

15. Celebrate!
Easter bonfire!

16. Le's Do It Again
Let's go!

17. I Miss You
no captions needed.

18. Beautiful
The Serengeti plains were gorgeous!

19. Dress Up
A dress I made for Easter. I love to sew, but I'm not doing anything this hard again until a wedding dress someday.

20. Macro
Spring flowers.

21. Holidays
I loved this scene from the Christmas play.

22. My Favorite
My favorite ever!

23. Don't Ever Change
I love my siblings (not all are pictured). I don't want them to change.

24. Just Because...So There!


Just randomness 

25. Hopes and Dreams [for 2014]
Explore. Dream. Discover.


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