Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Here's a question for you: what is self-control? I mean, yes, it can be something as simple as not finishing off a whole pie in one sitting, but what is it really? In my quiet times, I've been making my way through the sweet little book of Titus. In these mere three chapters, Paul tries to encourage his padawan in how to lead the church on the island of Cyprus. I just finished chapter 2 and in that chapter, Paul tells Titus to teach the older men to be SELF-CONTROLLED, to raise up the older women so they can train the younger ones to be SELF-CONTROLLED, he to encourage the young men to be SELF-CONTROLLED and finally he talks of how God's grace teaches us to live SELF-CONTROLLED lives.

Now, when you read any part of Scripture one of the biggest rules is that when you see something repeated, you may want to take notice...and needless to say this got my attention. I didn't necessarily think that I struggled with "self-control" per se, but I think it's because I was only thinking of it in a very limited way, but it really is defined controlling your emotions or desires especially in difficult situations. So yeah, I've come to realize that self-control isn't just dealing with small shallow things, but really it's at the base of living a godly life and being obedient to God's Word... this self-control plays into whether or not we do not sin in our anger, allow any unwholesome word to come out of our mouths, honor our parents, or are anxious for nothing....and the list goes on. In Romans 7:7, Paul talks about that it was by his learning what the law said about coveting that he began to have "every kind of covetous desire". I guess that's in a way where I'm at with this self-control thing, that it's really amazing how much of a failure I am at displaying that in my life right now. I guess that's yet another thing to chalk up to support "All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, REBUKING, correcting, and training in righteousness".

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One LONG day

So this morning started out super fantasically (I may or may not be saying that sarcastically). I woke up at 3:30 to say goodbye to yet another friend as he headed back to the States with out any definite plan (although the desire's there) to come back here. After saying goodbye at 4, I tried to go back to sleep, but to no I skyped with my fam, had my quiet time, and then went to help with breakfast because we have a team of 10 right now staying here. After breakfast came and went, I went and picked up my legit Ugandan driving permit. And then spent time studying and trying to get other stuff checked off my to do list. I tried to meet with one of my one-on-one discipleship people, but her work detained her, so I came home and studied some more. As I was studying, a certain little girl decided it would be fun to practice her screaming skills and I seriously thought I was going to blow a gasket - 3:30 and I don't make for a very good match, that's for sure. So then I headed off to teach at Jinja SS, and that's where the day starts actually looking up.

I got to Jinja SS, and the kids were late getting there. It's been so cool though with the Bible study there though because it used to just be a few of my guys who came every week, I loved having it be a small group, but then last Friday, that all changed. My boys' friends decided they wanted to come too, so needless to say our number is hanging out at around 20 now (not that numbers mean everything, but I won't lie, it's been quite the encouragement). They all got to the study and we went through Acts 4:23-31 where it's the believer's praying about the threats that Peter and John received. Prayer here, is basically very one-sided with people either screaming, demanding things of God, or just babbling without any real substance. As we finished, they had a lot of questions, and it was just too cool to get to address the issues head on, like What about those who are 'born-agains' who scream all the time? - I was able to scripturally show that what they were doing was bad juju. They asked about what if someone prays to God and also practices witchcraft. They asked about the verse saying that woman must always have a covered head. And then this one kid asked a doozy... "I go for prayers on Sunday, but then I also go and pray at the mosque on Fridays. What does God think about that? " It was a bit like you could hear the brakes screeching as I realized that I had to pick my words wisely. His family is Muslim, but his friends are Christians. And here, with many families, if you get saved and were previously a muslim, you are seriously disowned. We talked about things for a while and I found out later that one of my guys asked him if he would like to accept Christ and he kind of wanted to, but was still kind of hesitant. He's come to the Bible study the past two times, so needless to say, some prayer would be pretty awesome for this kid, I think his name is Rogae, but I'm not 100%, but at least we have a Father who knows His kids names even if we get them wrong.

As I was still on a high from that, I came home and was able to go straight into our newest ministry called "The Upper Room". It's basically our prayer ministry, with a super cool twist where there's worship and some informal Bible study/discussion. I actually love it, and so going from all that happened at the school to that was pretty sweet.

Now, of course though, I get home and waiting for me is an e-mail saying that I owe taxes, even though I've been making payments. Let's just say self-employment tax is for the birds. Talk about a bummer... but pay to Caesar right? I know God will provide, but yeah... The funny thing is that part of the teaching today was how the believers responded in prayer right away to the situation and we should be doing the same, and did I do that? NOOOOO..... I freaked out. I guess I could blame it on the 3:30 thing, but still that was no excuse. So yep, that's another prayer request for you :)

Finally, I'm sitting here, and I've officially been up for 19 1/2 hours. And I'm realizing just what a not-so-happy-camper I am when I'm sleep deprived. I mean talk about having your flesh exposed. I was not a very patient, selfless, or kind person today. But praise God for how He still desires to use us, even on our bad days. I know the good, the bad, and the ugly of the day are all a part of His plan. I just need to "Let go and let God"... and really just ... SLEEP!!!!! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

So what happens when you put a girl who has her blood flowing green in the heart of Uganda and March 17 rolls around? Well, let's just say you'll get 100 green balloons scattered around the house, some of the best corned beef you've ever had (made seriously from scratch - no spice pack or anything), two pots of cabbage, a ton of potatoes, green cherry cheesecake, and a green fruit punch with ice cream. Not to mention the variety of green apparel that said girl dons or the various other accessories that are provided for those around her.

This past St. Patrick's Day was really so much fun. Although I don't remember any not fun St. Patrick's Days come to think of it. With all of the awesome people surrounding me, it's amazing to think that almost none of them have ever really celebrated St. Patrick's day. It's always crazy when I hear people even go so far as to forget about this awesome holiday. In my family in ABQ, It goes Christmas, Easter, then St. Patrick's day. We seriously go all out with leprechaun hunts, silly string, hair dye, I mean the works. Considering that "everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day" I decided to give my friends here a little taste of the fun that St. Patrick's Day. Everyone here was such an awesome sport! Our staff wore green, I had some awesome help in the kitchen, and when the party came I was surrounded by some of the most awesome people who allowed their little Irish friend to have a little taste of home even if she's 8,000 miles away from her family as they celebrate. God answered prayers and everything turned out perfectly. It really was a blast!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Hebrews 4:12 says,

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

Well...let's just say I experienced that sharp penetrating pain of His Word today as I met with someone for a Bible study. I've been having a battle with my flesh for the past 24 hours or so as I had to deal with a big bummer of a situation with a friend of mine. I felt hurt, disappointed, and very angry at the person and have been harboring that anger in a very real way. When I get upset, I know that my tendency is to say things that I regret later so in order to prevent the need for future damage control, I just don't talk to that person. For a time that might be wise, but in the end let's be honest, it's pure manipulation and not helping the problem at all. Well, this morning after I already sinned by allowing the sun to go down on my anger, I woke up with still such anger in my heart, then this morning all I could do was pray about the situation and it was really just centered around that person learning their lesson... of course I threw in a couple of things like "please help me to deal with this in a way that glorifies You" and "please help me to not sin in my anger" (I had already blown that one) but really my prayer was rather one sided. The day progressed and I couldn't bring myself to talk to that person despite the fact that the counsel I was getting started with my mom saying not to make them feel worse than they do already (she knows what the nasty way I can be when I'm upset), and then to Bev telling me to just basically let it go (which I really didn't want to hear) and it kind of started to hit me that I needed to die to myself. But being the stubborn girl that I am, I still didn't want to let go of my anger because well... it just really wasn't fair... I mean, why do I have to be the one to do it? I was the one who was wronged, and yada yada yada... Then came the Bible study I mentioned at the beginning.

We are going through the book of Ephesians and were in chapter 2 today and in verse 4 it says, "But because of His great LOVE for us, God, who is rich in MERCY," and as I began to explain the verse, the words came out "If you really love someone you'll show them" I honestly could almost feel the pain in my side as I said those words as God's sword struck me. I still am hurting from it. Mercy is not giving someone what they do deserve... it's forgiveness, it's letting go, it's dying to self even when you're the one who was hurt. Boy oh boy, am I reeling from this one. Jesus has shown me such amazing mercy, I deserve His wrath, yet He loves me and has saved me. That brings me back to the prayer I prayed this morning about glorifying God in how I deal with it all. To glorify God is in a way to show Him, to reflect His nature... and our God truly is rich in mercy and if I want to be obedient to Him and not fall into any more sin than I already have through all of this I need to show His mercy, which can not come from me but only with His help. In James 4:17 it says, "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins". So needless to say I'm still nursing the beating that I received today, but I don't think I'll forget this lesson any time soon.

Monday, March 7, 2011

One week

It's been one week since I said goodbye to a precious 3 year old as she moved away
It's been one week since I received the phone call that I lost an amazing 9 year old little friend
It's been one week since I sat on the floor of a hospital room with my "family" silently crying
It's been one week since I spent the night holding a mother grieving over the loss of her child
It's been one week since I told my kids that they lost their best friend
It's been one week since I saw my church display the body of Christ in the most powerful of ways
It's been one week since I began to feel a pain I didn't know was possible
It's been one week since I started to know God's comfort in ways I had never experienced before

Time... people say how it heals all wounds. I have to say that after one week, the scab is beginning to form, but pain is still there. I know that there will always be a scar from this past week, especially on February 28th. But it's in times like this that you can realize the truth of "Sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning".

It's been interesting dealing with everyone's different forms of grief over the past week, including my own. I've never had to deal with a loss like the one of Nazziwa. People talk of their different coping mechanisms but really I've never had to have one until now (at least not in this capacity). Some people like to clean, work, cry, be alone, be with people, I guess my biggest thing is just how I'm learning that I need to talk about it. Not necessarily get any sort of advice, but just to kind of walk through it all, the last moments, the good times, the dealing with everything immediately after... I talk about it now without really crying because honestly the reality still hasn't fully hit me I don't think. I still keep thinking I'm going to see her come and play with her friends, I'll hear her little laugh on my porch, I'll sit with her and talk about life.

The good thing is that God has truly answered so many people's prayers. The comfort is definitely coming and God has brought some very powerful lessons my way over this past week. God is definitely still a good God, and more than that He's our Sovereign Lord who continues to have everything in His hands. I'm now able to more than ever attest to that fact. I'm not just merely sending out empty words that I've in no way experienced but I've been able to know the truth of them in the deepest of ways. I thank God and rejoice not in the things that brought the pain, but what is coming from it. I'll end this with a line from a song that was part of our worship on Sunday, "In the chaos, in confusion, I know you're sovereign still..." It's not for me to understand the "why", but to simply just trust Him.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Picking up the pieces

Yesterday was one of the longest days ever... After not really sleeping the night after we heard the news about Nazziwa, I began to go into ministry mode. I had to be the one to tell most of our kids around the compound about Nazziwa passing away, over and over I had to say those awful words and hear the exclamations of surprise and sorrow. Knowing how to comfort and minister to someone during this time is hard enough, but when they're kids who have never had to deal with something like this before, it adds a whole new element. One of the most hart-wrenching times for me was when Nazziwa's little coffin was in the church and her friends (Peace, Awi, Joy, and Ruthie) decided it was time to go in there and see it for the first time. Gathered there with my girls was just so hard as I heard their little sobs and wished that I had arms that were six feet long so that I could wrap them around all of them at one time. Then we went to the village of Nazziwa's family for the burial, and we all were pretty stoic for the most part until they brought the casket out and lowered it in the ground and as everyone else had left the grave-side I was still there with my kids watching in disbelief that Nazziwa was there and wasn't coming back. These kids are all under the age of 13, and just seeing how their minds were just trying to process everything was so hard. One of her best friends was Moses...Moses has the most amazing personality and he and Nazziwa were so cute together. I had to be the one to tell him that his best friend had died that morning, and then that afternoon, I stood alone with him looking at the grave and then just taking his head in my hands and tried to convey to him how special he was in her life.

Yesterday, God gave me the strength to be strong for others, to be the shoulder someone else cried on... Today that strength seems to be gone, and my own personal struggles with the situation are hitting me. But I know that I still need to be that rock for my kids, so I just ask for your prayers that I would know how to deal with all of this, both personally and with my kids. This is seriously something that's harder than anything I've ever had to deal with before.


RSS Subscribe

    follow me on Twitter

    Blog Archive

    Copyright Text