Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Loved and Grace

Hey guys, I know its been a while.

I don't know if you know this but I don't like writing. I don't like journaling. I don't like dealing with my feelings. But writing this year, in this season of my life is helping. Its healing my soul as is the infinite grace I've been shown lately.

Google defines Grace as  the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

 Since joining the Episcopal Service Corps five weeks ago, I've had a lot of grace shown to me. In the little and big things.  By people in my church and by strangers and by friends. Its been so good. 

Sometimes we forget about grace and how amazing it is for our souls.  And sometimes we feel so saturated in it that our heart is about to burst.

Think about the definition of Grace above. 
1. Its free. You don't pay for grace. You can't earn it. Its free, its a gift.
2. Its unmerited. That means you don't deserve it. We are all sinners and fall short.
3. Favor of God. God gives us Grace. He favors us. That's a big deal - The same God who made the heavens and the Earth shows us favor. He shows approval, liking and kindness for us. That is a big deal...

I cannot count the ways God has flooded me with Grace lately - but maybe I should. 

I've been in the ESC for 5 weeks. I've had strangers help me on the side of the road.  I've had a church take me in as their own. I've had the unwavering support of my family as I start over yet again.  I've had old and new roommates who have gone above and beyond for me.  I've had old and new friends treat me with such good hearts that I don't know what else to do.

It good to get Grace from others. You know what else is good - maybe even better. Giving away Grace. One of my favorite authors - Bob Goff - he tweeted "Give away grace like you're made of it; we're rehearsing to spend eternity together."

That's the goal you guys.  I want to spend eternity in Heaven with you. What ever that looks like. I would rather spend eternity with people who give continual grace. I mean I know in heaven we will be made perfect and it will be a little different - but in theory won't it be more fun if we are already giving grace to one another - it will be like out little heaven on earth.

SO here's a secret. Sometimes I'm good at giving grace... but most of the time I'm not.  I have a tendency to be judgey and a little sharp tongued. I'm learning - or at least trying to. But if we all try to give grace all the time - I mean I know it will be a little exhausting - it will totally be worth it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Loved and being a (pretend) mother of twins

First off, I have about 6 started blog posts. Its often difficult to finish them because I lose my train of thought or I decide I'm tired and will finish it in the morning. I am going to start making a serious effort to finish those up.

Next, most of you were able to see the beautiful set of twins I am taking care of.  (If you haven't seen them... here's a photo of their first day on this big old earth).
Meet George and Sarah (yes, I'm aware George is in pink)

This picture is somewhat deceiving... In fact, in this picture they look normal newborn size.  Let me assure you. They are in no way normal. These babies are tiny little miracles.  Neither of them could weigh over three pounds. I bet they are barely two pounds. In the town I am living in, we can't even find diapers small enough to fit them, so we use 'newborn' diapers, which I could effectively wrap them both in with room to spare. 

George and Sarah are miracles.  If not for the mere fact that they are so tiny. Their mother is incredibly sick.  She is HIV+ and has cancer that is spreading and causing the severe inflammation of her limbs. We had been working on getting her treatment.  Sunday, we got a call saying that she had just given birth to twins at the main hospital in Mityana.  We sent our social worker up with clothes for the babies, as is customary, and then our social worker came home with the babies (after much discussion with our director and probation officer).  Mom is simply to sick to care for them and the hospital doesn't have the tools to keep these babies healthy. We had our Ugandan doctor check them out and fix their umbilical cords (as the main hospital did a terrible job) and now they are my sweet roommates. (Later, we have found out that the midwife who delivered them assumed (that's right, did not make the effort to check) George was dead at first, and did not do a good job for that reason on tying the umbilical cord. In fact we are fairly certain the main hospital did not care about these two precious lives, as they received little attention after the birth).  

Currently, they sleep in my room.  If you have ever lived with me, you know that staying asleep isn't exactly my thing. Well, this just in, being woken up isn't really my thing either... BUT it is totally worth it to feed and take care of these precious children.  In my crash course of being a mom, which is at a total of 48 hours. The following is what I have learned:

  • Babies have no concept of this is night time and this is day time. Infact, mine like to sleep silently through the day and cry at me at night. 
  • Sometimes when you think they are done eating, they aren't. So it is best to check and see before putting your complicated crib warming device (read: tons of blankets, and heating pads) back in place.
  • I'm tired. I give props to those moms out there who are also working. I mean, I have the opportunity to take a nap at 3ish every day, but the thing is I wake up and then I am like I have school to do too, and all this morning I was practically useless.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Loved and Goldfish

Yall, this is a little embarassing, but I need you all to understand.  I have had this tub of Goldfish in my tote since I arrived here in May.  I was saving it, until I couldn't stand it any longer.  Well after I cried over chicken and dumplings, I opened it... and promptly finished it within two weeks. It was totally worth it.

Loved and Ishaka

Three weekends ago I got to visit Ishaka.  It is in the south western part of Uganda.  Its is about a seven hour drive. Which is kind of long when you are making it just a day trip.

We drove through Fort Portal... and saw some baboons.

Then we drove through a part of Queen Elizabeth Park

Some type of Antelope

Lake George

Antelope - we saw them fight it was cool

Cactus Tree

Drove into Ishaka, which is where we picked up a friend of the orphanage...

View from the road out of Queen Elizabeth Park

View from road out of Queen Elizabeth Park

Then turned around and drove back. Saw some more animals in Queen Elizabeth Park. 
Can you see the elephants?

Can you see the elephants/

Then stopped at the equator line (which we skipped on the way there).

It was a blast. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Loved and when you tell me you are following/read my blog

but really, this is exactly how I feel... and you know, I've always wanted to be a famous blogger or some type of internet sensation.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Loved and Chicken n Dumplings

This week, we had chicken and dumplings.  I cried. It made me miss my parents. It reminded me of cooking with them, gathering around the table, laughing in the kitchen. I miss having the resources I have at home to cook with. I also miss having my mom's cooking, there is nothing like it, she's an amazing cook.

I miss her meatballs, and sneaking them out of the pot as they simmer.  I miss zucchini chips and hamburgers (without the bun). I miss american food, but the food here is so much better for me.  Its all organic and I can pronounce all the ingredients on my processed food, which is kind of really awesome.

In America, we think about food a lot, types of food, amounts of food, etc. In America, food is a hobby, for almost everyone.  Here, you realize how much you must rely on food for fuel.  There are less options (especially where I live) and it makes you realize that food shouldn't be a hobby.

Not that I don't have a list of food I want when I get back. To start it includes: Chicken and dumplings (made by my mommy), meatballs (made by mom), taco bell, mexican restaurant food, my mom's mexican, cheese, a hotdog, and spinach.

That's my list, for now.

Loved and being 'set up'

Today we had a friend from town come over who does our sewing.  She brought her daughter.  "Come here" she said to me, "This is my daughter, I brought her to you so you guys could be friends."  We both laughed, clearly embarrassed because of the awkwardness, and the obvious language and cultural barriers that we would face. So we chatted a little, and it was sufficiently awkward for both of us, because we don't really have anything in common, but what made me laugh the most was that its a total "mom" thing that her mom did.   It was a unique experience.