i’m still writing but i moved here: http://honeyandroots.blogspot.com/ !!
Tomorrow I’m leaving Florida and I won’t be back in the States for a year and three months. This new season that is just on the cusp of being unveiled holds weight.. holds glory. I am delicate, expectant, and as ready as I’ll ever be for all the challenges, fights, joys, beauties, sorrows, wrecks, triumphs, & trials that will come my way. Through it all I know that the Lord will be my strength, that He will hold me in His hand, that I will grow closer to Him than I could doing anything else; and I say that because I am in the will of the Lord, walking in what He has for me and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. It’s hard to leave my family, friends, and all the cute comforts of home & America…but it’s easy in comparison to knowing Jesus. The light of the gospel, of Jesus dying on a cross for my sins—for your sins—and coming to save us, coming to die and rise and bring abundant life…that light makes all else dull and unimportant.
Over a roadtrip, cups of coffee, and many conversations I have endlessly learned the heavy truth of obedience. I am still endlessly learning this. The very fact that I have walked in obedience to what Jesus spoke to me—that He called, He beckoned, I went to Him, and I followed where He was leading. And I still yearn to do this everyday. I’ve also been so beautifully reminded of staying straight on my path, and not turning right or left until He directs that shift. I’m in a new season right now, where I am home and around familiar friends and family faces, trying to enjoy time with them while trying to discipline myself into a rhythm of rest, refreshing, encountering God, and to live a more prayerful life. I’m also aware, constantly, of the season that is on the edge of arrival. A season of friendship, growing up, learning to cling to God’s strength probably more than ever, and living more and more in sacrifice. Everything is beautiful in it’s time. He is so graciously woven in the people and words He brings into our lives; at least I can say that for mine. August is almost over; it’s been a wild adventure and I am embracing all the truth and goodness that I have learned, shared, received, remembered, poured out, rambled and stayed quiet over. Thank you Lord for being with me, and with us, in the sacrifice, the giving up, our weakness and your strength, the joys and the sorrows…and thank you for the reward of following you, the promises tied together in scripture, and for simply giving us grace and life although is cost the death of your Son so that He could be made our Savior.
Joyful are people of integrity,
who follow the instructions of the
Joyful are those who obey his laws
and search for him with all their
How can a young person stay pure?
By obeying your word.
I have tried hard to find you—
don’t let me wander from your
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you…
Teach me your decrees, O Lord;
I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding and I will obey
I will put them into practice with all
Make me walk along the path of your
for that is where my happiness is
Lord, you are mine!
I promise to obey your words!
With all my heart I want your blessings.
Be merciful as you promised…
You made me, you created me.
Now give me the sense to follow your
May all who fear you find in me a cause
for I have put my hope in your word.
Psalm 119:1-2, 9-11, 33-35, 57-58, 73-74
It’s overwhelming. That so many awesome, beautiful, precious children are orphaned. That so many parents have died; or what I think is worse, that so many mothers and fathers don’t care about these human beings they gave life to, that so many mothers and fathers are nameless and blurred and nonexistent in the eyes of their own children. Some left—abandoned—to die. Some who wander around in the loose care of relatives too old to truly care for them. Many not receiving a warm bed, or a bed at all, and hot meals and clean water and good education. And then what about the love? What about the encouragement? The needed and nurturing words of “You are great. You are loved. You are important. You are going to succeed.” The life-giving words of “You are beautiful. You are treasured. You are not worthless. You have family.”
It’s overwhelming. I’m in the midst of being apart of these children’s lives. I’m a piece to their life, someone (I hope and pray) influencing them eternally. They watch practically everything I do, without me even noticing sometimes, quietly observing. And in that, I can echo the Creator. I’m an example to them, of what right and wrong is. They challenge me to be exactly who I tell them to be.
I am so blessed by this life, by this calling, by this God. Who trusts me to be here, who has given me purpose in Zambia, and who has assured me that He is with me. Sometimes I wonder why He chose me, but all I have to rest in is the mystery that He knows better than I do in all things.
Saturday morning around nine o’clock the cars were packed and ready to go; we started driving to Mazabuka, the sweetest town. I drove, accompanied by Jaide, Jeanette and Jerome. It’s a straight shot down Lusaka Road. Miles and miles of bush and trees, villages in the distance, people selling things like sweet potatoes, mud houses. It only took a few hours to get to Agripa’s sisters flat. His family was so welcoming and their flat was cozy and inviting, too. Mazabuka is where sugar cane is grown and where sugar is made. We got a chance to drive around the sugar cane fields and see the huge factory. It’s wild…the smell of sugar cane fills the air. Every breath of the wind carries sweetness. It was incredible. When we got home we ate some burned sugar cane on the balcony. While we were enjoying that, the power went out. I didn’t mind. It gave me the freedom to eat really messy. My hands and face were full of black smudges from. After the power came back on, Agripa’s sister prepared a cup of hot water and we threw our rooibos teabags in, mixed in some sugar, and got warmed up at the kitchen table. We slept early and happily sunk into blankets that reminded us of home.
Around six thirty, after tossing and turning a bit, I woke up, talked to Jaide and got dressed. I was offered a cup of coffee, took it up, and had to deal with drinking it after the soy milk I used left tons of white pieces floating around. The milk wasn’t sour, but it didn’t look too lovely. We left around eleven thirty. The drive back took way longer. First of all, we needed to fill up on gas and their wasn’t any to be found in Mazabuka. Onto the next town, Monze. Thankfully there was gas there, but man, it was a long wait. We also made many more stops for water, snacks, and restroom breaks. Although we got to Livingstone later than hoped for, I totally loved seeing the sunset as we drove. It was gorgeous orange and after it wasn’t seen anymore, their was purple and blue hues left hanging in the horizon. Such a glorious weekend.
That was a couple weekends ago. This morning I’m drinking some coffee, enjoying having the house to myself (although not under the best circumstances), and reading some pieces of scripture from Isaiah. Jaide leaves in one week and I’ll be sad to see my friend go. Since it’s her last full weekend we are going to Ngwenya to spend some time with Justine and the kids he pours his heart and life into, visit Mama Josephine at her house, and just soak in some time at the farm.
I turned to a passage in Isaiah this morning and it’s leaving me super thankful that God chose to brings the rebels back, and he chose to bring in others as well…which means us. The ones that were not “chosen”. But now we are. My heart is beyond thrilled at this truth. I get to be a child of God, a daughter, a friend…because He chose me. He opened the door. He pursued me. He died for me. He did all that He could do and then let me choose Him. Praise Him that I did. Praise Him for bringing me so near. On the 23rd of May I celebrated four years of being baptized. Four years of declaring to Jesus that I am His, that I want what He wants; four years of going to another end of the earth and striving to see what He sees and love how He loves. Just four years…but what a long and beautiful and refining four years. Four years ago I stood in a lake and publicly declared that yes, I was going to live for Christ, I was going to die to all of “me” and let Him come through, that I was going to walk in the life that He gives so abundantly. It’s a process, I think, continuing to walk in Him and dying to your self. Every day we choose this. I will keep choosing it all the days that I live, through the struggle of flesh and spirit, through the trials and tribulations, through the mountaintops and the valleys.
As I had some quiet time yesterday morning I was reading Psalm 53. The denial of God. Corruption. People turned away. David wondering who will save Israel, who will restore God’s people. Then I thought of Isaiah 53. Such a difference. Jesus carrying our sins. Atonement. Like sheep we strayed away and turned our backs, but there is redemption. It was this Jesus who “bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels”. What a parallel. How beautiful it is that we have turned away, perhaps denied God, and yet we can rejoice because we have a Savior and Redeemer.
Kwathu Children’s Home is building and we need help! To raise some funds, we are selling bracelets made from chitenge (African fabric) for $6 each. All the proceeds goes toward building the new house. We are hoping and praying that we reach roof level by the end of June and from there the roof is an expensive part.
If you would like to give a donation, buy a bracelet, or find out more about Kwathu, feel free to message me and check out www.kwathuhome.wordpress.com!
Love and Blessings.