It's About To Get Real

I really don’t like when things are out of order, you can blame it on my OCD tendencies, but today, despite those tendencies, I am not going to post part 3 of my Uganda adventure (I will post that hopefully Friday) and instead I am going to share something that made me think ‘wow, it just got real’ after I revised it. So here we go.

Someone told me recently that they appreciated that fact that I’m honest and how I share my struggles on this here blog. Well, that’s not always the case. I tend to keep things bottled up, never really wanting to expose my true feelings, afraid of what others might think or say, afraid of being vulnerable. I don’t want anyone to ever have the ability to hurt me so as a defense mechanism I don’t let people get too close. I definitely guard my heart, sometimes I think a little too good.

With that being said I’m going to lower that guard, just a tad, and share something with you guys. For a couple weeks now I have been ignoring God, not reading his word, not talking to Him. Seems like a funny thing to do while your in Africa trying to tell people about Him, but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. If I’m going to be really honest, it’s because I was mad at Him. That’s really hard for me to admit that I felt that way, I don’t like that I felt that way on bit, but that’s where I was at. I miss my family, I miss my best friend, I miss being a nanny for two of my favorite little girls, I miss my dog, I miss my life in America. I was mad at God because I felt like He took that away from me, He took me away from some of the people and things that I loved so dearly. Yes, they will all still be there when I go back, but things will be different, I’ll never be the same, they’ll never be the same, things will have changed, hopefully good change, but change non the less. Growth is a normal, necessary, part of life. I am going to miss out on some times, times I wont get back. Some of them are small and stupid like watching a scary movie before going to a corn maze in the fall, running to starbucks, screaming/singing in the car, and some are big, like weddings, anniversaries, holidays and birthdays, but all are meaningful to me. I was mad because God has asked me to do something hard. I know plenty of amazing Godly women that are back in the states now, living a “normal” life yet serving Him with all their hearts. A part of me wants that. A part of me is scared that moving to Rwanda has set me back, is making me miss out. A part of me wonders why I have been asked to move to Rwanda instead of stay at home and live like an average 21 year old. Why? Why am I different? Why me?

I do over think about what the future is going to hold for me. I day dream constantly about the things my heart desires wondering if it all will someday be my reality or if I’ll be asked to give it up. I find myself being afraid more than I am excited about my future.

All of this questioning and wondering (and ok, pitty partying) and instead of turning to God for comfort and answers, I turned away. One of my wonderful attributes is avoiding confrontation at all cost and until now I didn’t realize how greatly that not only affects my relationships with family and friends but also my relationship with God.

Than today I realized, I have no need to worry about what I’m going to do today, tomorrow, next year, or the rest of my life because God knows. He knows! He has it all planned perfectly! And if I’m constantly seeking after Him I can confidently walk through this crazy life knowing that He has plans for me, knowing that He loves me, knowing that He will never leave or forsake me, knowing that this life is simply a blimp in time and soon enough I will spend eternity worshiping Him.

When I first started planning to come to Rwanda I thought that I was going to be the one to helped these people grow but so far God has been working overtime on me, on my heart. Changing me, shaping me, revealing things to me. It’s been a rough journey, I always knew that this was not going to be easy, but I also didn’t realize just how hard it was going to be. Right now though I am confident in this one truth; it is all for a purpose, His purpose. No matter how rough this journey gets, no matter the circumstances, no matter the consequences, I always want to be obedient and always willing to follow blindly.

I debated whether or not to actually write and post all of this. I don’t want to let anyone down, I don’t want anyone to think less of me because of all this, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. But I am human, I am sinner, I make mistakes and fail daily. Right now this is something that I am struggling and dealing with and instead of dealing with it by myself I wanted to let some others in. Not so I could get back encouraging comments, not so I would feel better about myself, but so that you could pray specifically for me. I find that when you pray specifically and boldly big things happen and that is what I want, big things to happen during my time spent in Rwanda. Not for my glory, but all for His.

I Survived

Part 2

The worst sound in the world rang through the cabin on Monday morning. That sound? An alarm clock. Luckily that morning I didn't mind waking up so much. That day was bungee day. That's right folks, I was prepared fling myself from a 44 meter height with only the support of a rope. 

And it was freaking awesome! Five of us went to jump that day. A random guy, Megs, Liv, me and Tara. We jumped in that order. Now I'm not going to tell you about their jump or show you their pictures (mainly because I think Megs would kill me in my sleep) But I can certainly tell you about my jump without any danger involved! For me personally the scariest part of the whole thing was walking up the stairs and standing at the top waiting for the others to jump. I was clinging so hard to the railing I'm pretty sure my knuckles turned white. But when they said who's next I decided to suck it up and was pretty calm after that. They first put on my harness and than had me sit in a chair while they tied the rope and what not on. Next thing I know I am standing up and proceeding to hop over to the ledge. My toes hung slightly over while I hung on to the roof. I did a quick wave to everyone watching, a thumbs up to Tara, let go of the roof, "3, 2, 1, bungee!", bent down to get some momentum, and than jumped. Initially it just felt like I was flying, but you know, there's this little thing called gravity so the whole flying thing didn't last long and soon my stomach and heart felt like they were making their way towards my mouth. Next thing I know I am nearing the Nile. I tried to touch it but sadly did not get that far down. After I flung back up I don't remember a thing. I was told on the way up I almost reached the top again. The way I look at it I pretty much got a free second jump. And somehow, without trying, or even realizing till looking at these pictures, I was smiling the whole time. Don't know how that happened. Finally the bouncing stopped, the blood rushed to my head, my ankles began to pull, and the nice men in the boat saved me. First time bungee jumping but hopefully not the last! 

Part 3 comin at you soon!

A Uganda Adventure

Part 1

I started the day bright and early on Sunday. Like 3:40 am kind of early. Like the suns not up kind of early. Like I had to pry my eyes open and force my body to move kind of early. I think you get the point. 

Alison, Tara, Meg, Liv and I all arrived at the bus stop at 5:00 am for a 10+ hour bus trip to Kampala Uganda. The bus ride started off like any other, long boring and not entirely comfortable. But also like any other bus ride there were a couple of fun surprises thrown in along the way. For example;

I had the unfortunate task of peeing in a gutter. And when I say gutter I mean a curved hole in the ground no larger than the size of a tennis ball. Not easy folks!

I got to walk across the Ugandan boarder. The whole thing reminded me of the final scene in “The Mist”.

Followed by a marriage proposal. Let me explain. A man who works for the bus company said he wanted to be my friend and than proceeded to give me his number. About an hour later he announces he actually wants be married. As in I would be his wife. Pft, wants to be friend, what a bunch of baloney. Now mind you this man, who claimed to be 28 when he learned my age (lies, 35 at least) had only spoken 5 words to me. He continued in saying that he wanted to meet my mother and father to pay for my hand. Say what? Alison, Tara and Megs than began to barder with him. Lovely. Originally I believe he offered a whopping 6 cows. Tara was able to get it up to 10, no problem but than Megs chimes in and decided we could settle for 8 as long as the cows had really big horns. He was completely prepaid to pay up. The final straw; When we were paying for our bus ticket on the way back he decided to join in the process and picked out my seat for me saying “My wife sits here” and sat everyone else around me. Wowzer. When he asked me if I would call I quickly began searching my bag for absolutely nothing and said a quick maybe aka never. I'm practical still a baby for peets sake.   

We then took a 2 hour van ride to the middle of nowhere in Jinga where we saw what was to be our fate tomorrow.

That night I rested my head on what appeared to be a pillow made of cement and drifted off dreaming of being eaten by crocs and plummeting to my death. 

The Four Week Mark

Four weeks ago Alison and I boarded a plane to Africa
In only 4 weeks I have moved to another continent,
 into a house with a few awesome roommates, 
got a twin, more siblings, and a son. 
I have learned a few words in Kirwanda (and trying to learn more everyday), 
learned how to speak special English with a slight African accent, 

learned how to make paper beads/necklaces, 
I have ridden several moto taxi’s, several buses, opened a bank account, 
eaten more chocolate than all my years combined 
trained my hair not to be so disgusting after not washing it for a day
grown accustom to shaking every living souls hand within a 100 yard radius 
and as of today I have officially run on African soil. 
That’s right, I have decided to get back into shape 
in quite possibly the most difficult place,
due to the altitude and insane hills
 (Rwanda is called the land of a thousand hills
but really should be called the land of a billion mountains.
Am I being a tad dramatic...maybe.)
But let me tell you, it was not an easy run. 
I got many strange stares, questions as to what I was doing, 
and one point I had a trail of children running beside me, 
in sandals, skirts, and turtle necks while laughing the whole time. 
I felt pretty pathetic considering I was panting like a dog and going slow as molasses, 
but hey you got to start somewhere! 
It hasn't been necessarily the easiest four weeks of my life 
but it has been a full four weeks and I wouldn't trade a single second. 

Saturday Shenanigans

Last Saturday Beniot and I got to spend the afternoon together away from the orphanage. We went to lunch where I learned he doesn’t eat meat, had never eaten pizza before (he didn’t like it), does like apple pie, and loves Justin Bieber.

We finished the day by looking at pictures of my family and friends back home and singing along to some of the Justin Bieber movie. 

Yesterday was another day with Beniot. We decided to spend the afternoon at the Lake with several other boys from the orphanage, Alison, Megan and Olivia. 

Side Note: Since I’ve never really mentioned it before but probably should have, I have four roommates; Tara, Alison, Ang and Fanny. Tara and Alison are both from the states. Tara’s been in Rwanda for a year and started No.41. Alison, who came over with me, plans on staying here for a year and is partnering with Tara on No.41. Ang and Fanny are from Rwanda and work at No.41. They are the sweetest girls. They really take care of all of us and we are so lucky to have them. I also have two temporary roommates; Megan and Olivia visiting from the UK. And yes, I do feel like I’m at Hogwarts every time they talk and I absolutely love it. I could not have picked out better roommates if I tried. 

The day consisted of waiting for a bus, the bus taking to long so deciding to take motos instead, fearing that some of the smaller boys would fall off their motos, not being able to get a moto for myself and having to take the bus anyway, swimming in the lake, someone stealing another one’s swim trunks, having our pictures randomly taken, moving to another part of the lake to avoid said picture takers, and treating the boys to fanta and cookies. 

I love this boy so much. And can we all just marvel at the December and now picture difference.



He is completely different from the boy I knew for two days back in December. Now he is always smiling, laughing, making me laugh, and talking. I am so happy and blessed, that I got to see this transformation and be a small part of it. (Not to say that he was never happy before, just with me there's been a noticeable difference)

On another exciting note; I got to cook dinner for the first time since living here. I used an easy squeezy recipe from pinterest and made fettuccine alfredo with bread and for dessert we all made peanut butter cookie cake with nutella on top. It was possibly the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Besides feeling sick for three hours after stuffing my face it was great day. 

Patiently Waiting Does Wonders

First of all I wanted to thank you all, for the prayers and the kind words of support that I received since my last post. I also wanted to reassure all of you that I know it takes time to find my place, I obviously wasn’t originally thrilled with the whole ‘takes time’ concept, but now I am content in waiting. I am trusting in God completely to reveal His plans to me in His timing, not matter what they might be.
After my last post I came across some other verses in my quite time that have been a huge source of encouragement;

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come devote yourself to the public reading of scripture, to preach and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift…Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Preserve in them because if you do you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 5:12-16

Regardless of your age, God can use you. Live so others can see Christ in you.
Highly skilled and talented athletes lose their abilities if their muscles aren’t toned by constant use. Likewise, we will lose our spiritual gifts if we don’t put them to work. Out talents are improved by exercise, but failing to use them causes them to waste way from lack of practice and nourishment. Use the gifts you’ve been given regularly in serving God and others. -Application

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a sprit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So don not be ashamed to testify about our lord or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, but the power of God who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.” 2 Timothy 1:6-9

“Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to everyone of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Jus as each of us has one body with many members and these members do not all have the same function so in Christ we who are many for one body and each member belongs to all the other we have different gifts according to the grace given us. If a mans gift is prophesying, tell him use it in proportion to his faith. If it severing let him serve; if it is teach let him teach; if It is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others let him give generously; if it is leadership let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:1-8

God wants us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, daily laying aside our own desires to follow him, putting all our energy and resources at his disposal and trusting him to guide us. Our role is to be faithful and to seek ways to serve others with what Christ has given us. When you identify your own gifts ask how you can use them to build up God’s family. At the same time realize that your gifts can’t do the work of the church all alone. Be thankful for people whose gifts are completely different from yours. Let your strength balance their weaknesses and be grateful that their abilities make up for you differences. Together you can build Christ’s church. –Application

After reading these verses and the applications God revealed to me my next step at the orphanage. All that worrying and complaining and nothing comes of it but once I put my complete trust in God and His timing that is when He reveals to me what’s supposed to happen next. Funny how that worked out huh? I don’t really want to say too much right now, I tend to jump the gun and occasionally end up looking rather stupid as a result so…I’m going to leave it at that. Annoying, I know, but even if you’re as noisy as I am I can assure you will survive this waiting period.