Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Moving to Africa...

Is the same, but different.  We said goodbye, or see you later, to our dearest friends and family.  Packed all the things we felt like we needed into 12 suitcases and brought them to the airport.  Argued with the lady at the Delta counter about how many bags we got for free.  Lost.  Asked for our bags back.  Repacked.  Checked 11 bags.  Sent one home with Miranda.  Went only $100 over budget on luggage overage charges.  Yay!  Went through security.  Forgot to unpack all the extra electronics from our carry-ons.  Set off security alerts.  Oops.  Greg went through the full body scanner—he always has to!  Repacked the carry-ons that the security people unpacked.   Sigh.  Got on some stinking long flights and didn’t sleep.  Except for Angelica, who slept all over me (and the random guy on the other side of her).  Got off the plane in Jo’burg.  All five of us, yes even the 6 year old, had to push a luggage cart.  At least SHE slept!  Got picked up at the airport by people we had met once. 

All familiar, but at the same time, all a little bit different.  Kind of like most things in Africa.  The store is familiar, but a little bit different.  So is everything in it.  Roads are the same, but different.  People are the same, but different.  The feelings of being here are the same as always, but different too.  We’ve never lived here before.  Different. 

Here’s a list of a few different things that have happened since we got here:

Julia discovered she is a monkey whisperer.  When she calls monkeys, they come.
Greg had to stop in the road to avoid hitting a cow.
I peed on the side of the road in the long savannah grass. You gotta do what you gotta do!
A man rang our gate bell at 6:00am to ask for work, or food, or money. 

I’ve heard of this thing called Culture Stress.  It’s different than culture shock, because it’s not just the surprise, or even that you don’t like something.  It’s just the overwhelmingness of the “same but different” feeling.  Makes you tired.  Things are harder than they usually are.  Harder than they are at home.  Harder than you want them to be.  We are experiencing this right now.  Tired.  But happy to be figuring things out, slowly, gradually.  It will all come together. 

Stood in worship at HPC Swaziland Sunday morning.  God is here.  At Bible study in my house before my kids wake up in the morning.  God is here.  And so we know, it will all be okay.  Better than okay.  Good, great, a treasure.  All of these experiences are a treasure.  God is making us into who we need to be.  And He needs US to be the same…but different.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

As promised, only a little late--MPact Girls' Club!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mpact Friends Club

We had such a great time tonight.  My girls and I got to share at a girl's church group in Slidell that has adopted our family as their own personal missionaries.  We also got to have dinner with Grace, who's one of my new favorite people!  Love you guys!  I'll try to post a picture tomorrow-but tonight...BED!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Regular Life

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I got here.  I guess I'm being sentimental from knowing I'm moving.  I've been thinking about when I first felt called into ministry.  I was probably not more than 12.  Maybe a little bit younger.  Then I started growing up, and I realized that I didn't want to be in any kind of ministry.  I wanted a "regular life."  I don't know all of what I meant by that, but I'm pretty sure it went along regular lines--a handsome and romantic husband, a big house with all the trimmings, success in whatever job I end up wanting to pursue, and money to do what I want.  I know that part of my definition of "regular" was that God wouldn't ask me to do anything hard or anything that I didn't want to do.  I decided while I was in college I wanted to be a lukewarm Christian, so that God would let me have a "regular" life.  I actually remember the day I made that decision--the decision to follow God halfheartedly, and try to have a "regular life."

Because when I was really with God, I felt like life had to be lived with purpose.  And that's not what I wanted.

Have you ever been there?  With God, our lives are so fraught with purpose!  The crazy thing is that no matter what He has called you to do, it's full of purpose.  He wants you to do it with purpose for Him.  It isn't "regular" because He has purpose in it.  I think back over the time when I was trying to live halfway in God's plan and halfway in "regular."  I wasn't happy or fulfilled.  I was in sin in so many ways that I thought were ok, because I was tuning out the Spirit of God.  "Regular" stank!

As I look around at my life now I think I just needed a new definition of regular.  Regular is what is normal, and for Christians, shouldn't it be normal to do whatever God wants?  This IS regular.  This is not special--it's no big deal to head to Africa.  It is regular!  My definition of regular has to change with what God tells me to do.  Whatever it is, it is my new regular.  And whatever He tells you is your new regular.  Let's all live a regular life!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Blog is Re-opening

Just a test run on posting to this blog before I actually start back up. We are moving to Africa in 3 weeks and 2 days!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Nicholas had his first soccer game today. It was HOT! But he was a trooper and did such a good job. His team didn't win, but since they haven't even had a practice yet we didn't feel too bad about that, especially since the team they were playing against was bigger and had practiced several times. They had plays--the coach was calling out "Get in your rainbow" and things like that. Well, they had fun and we enjoyed watching. Julia got stung by a bee, though. Ouch! At least now we know she's not allergic!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


A little more than a week ago, Nicholas came to me with a small eczema scab on his arm that he had scratched until it was open. I put medicine on it, and then slapped a bandaid on top to keep him from scratching. Fast forward about 3 days and I noticed his arm was red around the bandaid. So I pulled it off--it was still stuck hard, and he had a first class allergic reaction under there. The original sore had become infected, and every place the bandaid had touched was red, bubbly and full of welts. So we put more medicine on it (an all natural herbal ointment that is anti-biotic and usually works great), and put it on several times a day for a couple of days. The swelling kept going up, so I decided to switch to Hydrocortisone, and we put that on it several times a day for a couple of days. Finally, the swelling was going down with that, but the scabs were getting green oozy stuff around the edges, so I bought Neosporin, and put that on it several times a day for one day. Then we realized that it was spreading, not just further up and down his arm, but into his armpit, onto his belly and groin area, and even down the leg on that side of his body. This was the Saturday night before Labor Day, so we were several days off from seeing a doctor unless we went to the emergency room. We, of course, had been praying for it in a quick general sort of way, but this night when I was putting the medicine on it, Nicholas said, "Hey, mom, why don't we put that oil on it? You know the one dad has for praying for sick people." (Greg got a little vial of anointing oil given to him when he got ordained) So I said sure and got it down and we prayed--really talking to Jesus about it kind of prayed. And that night when he went to bed it was already looking better, and it has steadily improved ever since until tonight it is almost gone! Thanks Jesus!