Thursday, December 16, 2010


Our children are giddy. Ecstatic.

“I’m so happy to be back, Mom!”

The congested streets and red-dirt-covered scenes around us flood us with familiarity. Knowing the schedules and the shops and how to make a plan. Jostling crowds at check outs. No queues, only clumps. My elbows popping out to stake our claim in the semblance of a line.

Greetings from the ARA staff we have known since our beginnings here. Richard, Mary, George, Robert --all friends for nearly 15 years.

Early rising, long breakfasts, leisurely coffee and strong equatorial sun that warms me to my soul.

Roosters crowing, children crying, horns honking, stereos blaring.


Tomorrow we travel the last stretch of road taking us back to our house. We can’t wait to hug our dogs and unpack our bags and put up our Christmas tree. We can’t wait to back cookies and make coffee and settle back into our family schedule.

Our life of the last 17 years has had many departures. And I survive each one by thinking of the return at the end of the journey. Return to the States. Return to our Africa home.

I prefer the end of the trip to the actual journey. I’m trying to learn how to experience the journey better. But the truth is, I like the completion of just about anything above the process itself. Lord have mercy. I still have so much to learn.

The “processes” and journey of the last several years have rendered me silent in this corner of cyber space. I return today not because anything has been completed. I return to practice, in the scratching of words, joy in the journey. Celebration of the process. Where is God filling and saving and healing in this broken life?

With dogs barking, and unpacked bags beckoning, I return.

It is good to be back.

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