Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gadgets and Gizmos

We love technology. But we live very far from it’s thriving epicenter.

In fact. Our domicile has gone many a day with absolutely no connection to anything remotely resembling technology.

And that is not all bad.

We are forced, by our life circumstance, to find something else to do. To be creative. To be outside. To have conversations with actual people.

And sometimes. To be bored.

But, despite what our circumstance affords us, once we have ready access to all things technological we are thrilled to engage the gadgetry.

On the eve of re-entry to a highly technological world, we begin to dip our toes into the inviting water.

Exciting. And intimidating.

In the last 24 hours I have read about Kindles, Ipods, DSi gaming systems and IPads.

I’m a little bit dizzy from all the information.

Dizzy from the choices.

I thought I knew exactly what we wanted. But soon discovered that there was MORE and BETTER and NEW!

And so we begin. The consumerism of our Homeland.

I love it!

And I hate it.

My navigation skills need honing, in this sea of options and improvements.

I’ve read websites and reviews. I’ve questioned friends and family. I’ve decided and changed my mind.

But in the end. I’m back to that moment I’ve often bemoaned.

I’m switching off my internet and computer, escaping to my unplugged porch, staring at the silent mountains and deliberately laying aside the deciding of things.

I’m sure we will engage the technological, but only at the pace I’m most acquainted with now.

Slow and steady.

Funny. I did not see that advertised even one time.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Best for Me

Two times to the hospital before I cooperated.
She never told me how much it hurt.
How tiresome and frustrated…
Just the joy was retold. The best for me.

 I cried. I fussed. Colic.
She walked. She cried. Dad walked. They tried.
New formula. This. That.
I got better. The best for me.

Bows in my hair. Songs in my chair.
Celebration over every next step.
Mamma and Grandaddy. Granny and Papa.
The best for me.

Hobbs, then Odessa.
Grandparents just down the street.
A sister!
The best for me.

Life full. Time fast.
Memories. Speed past…

School, a job, church, my Dad.
Parties, sponsor, teacher.
Stitches, friends, slumber parties, movies.
Hair styles, clothes, shopping.
Talks. Boys. Dates. Driving.
College. Heartbreak. Decisions. Marriage.
A missionary.
Africa. Africa?
Passports. Visits. Grandchildren. Furlough.
Packages. Reunions. Plans.

Always. Still.

She wants the best for me.

This inherent gift. Born with conception. Instilled in her from her own Grace. A love so deep it sacrifices and gives. And multiplies.

I made her a mom.
And so did He.
The very best for me.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom. Thank you. For everything.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Believing from the Hard Places

Maci. Ryan. Bentley. Diane.

One fell from a third story balcony.

One has a (dang-blasted) tumor around his spinal cord.

Two are undergoing chemo to fight Non-hodgkins Lymphoma.

They are wearing braces. Using wheelchairs. Limping and in pain.

They are working hard and monitoring everything.

They are losing their hair. Throwing up. Running fevers and very, very tired.

Their people are worn out too.

Nathan. Aleasha. Madi. Jessica. Jones. India. RayeAnne. Larry. 

(Together with amazing grandparents, superior aunts and uncles, incredible children and grandchildren.)

They are dispensing meds and driving to the doctor. They are holding hands and crying tears.

They are missing sleep and missing home. They are cheering on and hoping.

They are discussing death and realizing the imminence. 

They are comforting.

And they are all testifying.

Through blogs and emails and Facebook updates. Through hugs and prayers and blessed face-to-face contact. Through perseverance and authenticity.

Through their love for each other.

They are proclaiming Hope.



We can hear such messages in our faith communities each and every week. We can read them in Scripture. We can memorize, study and even believe.

But this testimony shouts loud and convicts deep. It’s VISIBLE.

From defeat. And struggle. And burden. And drought.

From loss.

Our family speaks these precious names each and every night. In prayer. With deep love and esteem.

With renewed faith.

Because we are Seeing Him.

In their words.  In their courage. In their weakened state.

Such vivid contrast that brings clearer focus. Our brokenness. His strength.

We see Him. Standing right there among these. Hurting as they hurt. Engaging them in the midst of frustrations. Handling the pleading prayers. Enabling. Sustaining. 

He is there.

Just like He promised He would be.

We see this. We show it to our children. We proclaim their testimony further.

We believe.

With them.

From the hard places.


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Sidebar and Some Other Stuff

  1. My husband works hard to keep our websites updated. I finally have links up in the sidebar on this blog. So if you are wondering what in the world we do in this far-off land, click on a link under “How We Serve”.

  1. Subscriptions—I’ve added gadgets to the sidebar to help you subscribe to these posts and/or receive them in your email inbox. HANDY!

  1. The Agriculture/Small Industries fair has come to our quaint little town. What this means, among many other things, is the thumping rap music can be expected at all hours of the day and night. With increasing volume as the sun goes down. We are just BESIDE ourselves with happiness. (not exactly)

  1. I enjoyed the most amazing cappuccino while in Kampala last week.  At Dormans coffee shop in Garden City Mall. (Okay. I enjoyed two.) Dorman’s location is far from peaceful (in the parking garage, overlooking the traffic jams in front of Garden City) but the cappuccino is tops, in my humble opinion.

  1. I accompanied my dear friend on a wedding dress shopping excursion in Kampala. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was a remarkably wonderful experience. We even found some definite contenders in the wedding attire line-up. (clarification: dresses were for her, not me. I’m already married.)

  1. I found Dr Pepper in Kampala and bought 12 cans. We are rationing them carefully. When we drink them, we feel like we are in Texas. This makes us happy. And makes us want to eat fajitas.

  1. I don’t remember preferring Dr Pepper when I lived on American soil. But now that it is not readily available to me, I find it delightful. Interesting.

  1. Dear, sweet friends (hey Mark and Jamie!!!) left us a wonderful CD called Seeds of Courage when they visited recently. The CD has scriptures set to music and we are loving it. The package comes with two CD’s (identical). The idea being that you keep one and share one, like planting seeds. Highly recommended!

  1. Hand-washing laundry in the rainy season seems futile. Mildew adds stink to clothes so the process of ‘cleansing’ and ‘refreshing’ is a no-go. But we continue to try anyway.

  1. Along the same lines:  Hand washing and line-drying towels is ridiculous. The end.

This has been a public service announcement.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


                                       “Careful and persistent work and effort”

I watch his labor.

I feel it.

In the set of his shoulders. In his stride. How he opens a drawer or moves down the hall.

I can tell when his burden is heavy.

The mechanics are calling. The churches need tending. The lessons need preparing. The sick need visiting. The oppressed need praying.

And the tires are always going flat.

There is a birthday to make memorable. Websites to update. A NEVERENDING slew of reports for agencies in front of us and those who meet far away.

Emails continue to arrive. Decisions pending must be faced. School.

Assignments to grade. Students to mentor. Counseling to ponder.

And the dreams. The vision. His life blood.

The camp. The retreat center. Our family home.

An aviation ministry.

Prayer and Vision. A council that will not be forgotten.

And the always needful, “Dad?”

Nineteen years ago, I was just beginning to learn his cadence.

His long stride covered ground quickly. Movement was synonymous with him. He hated to turn around and go back. Preferred to find the way forward.

Uphill energized him. The strenuous was a welcome outlet. His exertion breathed life into him. Gave him a story to tell.

He sought the challenge. Tackled it.

And always continued forward.

He still does.

I will never cease to be amazed, thankful and (honestly) exasperated at his determined pace. I’m challenged by it. I’m fatigued by it. I’m trained by it.

And I undeniably depend on it.

So many people do.

When those steps grow heavy, I notice.

I feel it.

And I know.

He will continue on.

The exertion will only serve to strengthen him. To write more of an adventure into his story.

Our story.

Our Father has a plan. We know this. We remind each other.

We step. 

Diligently forward.