on earth as it is in heaven 2013-11-07 15:54:00

Just one little bird. She’s up when the stillness of 5:30 nudges me awake and I struggle to peel back heavy eyelids. She’s up and she sings. I wonder how she can even tell that it’s almost morning. I wonder why she sings yet. I tip-toe to the coffee pot and flick on barely enough lights as to not wake my children, and this is my quiet time and I briefly just wish that one little bird would be quiet.“It’s not light yet. Shhhh. It’s not light yet.”I lift my eyes from the worn pages of Isaiah and my gaze falls on Sarah’s notebook, left haphazardly on the table after yesterday’s writing assignment. She wrote that I was brave. That I had courage. But as I sit there in the dark, I think that I am not.I miss my friends. I know where they are, and that it is better, by far, than suffering and sickness, but I wish they were here. I miss Betty’s smile as I wiped her forehead and the way her weak hand felt in mine, her fingernails hot-pink. I miss the still, quiet hours by her bedside and the way her eyes understood even if her ears did not.  I miss Katherine’s laugh, loud and audacious and when I see her children smile, I see her, and I wish the ending had been different. And I see Sarah’s words on the paper, “Our sick friend lived with us for a long time and my mom was brave and took care of her. I saw her praying for her and I know that she was loved and cared for. My mom kept her, and she had courage.”And I cry, because I do not feel courageous. I feel downright defeated sometimes. Maybe courage is not at all about the absence of fear but about obedience even when we are afraid. Courage is trusting when we don’t know what is next, leaning into the hard and knowing that it will be hard, but more, God will be near.  Maybe bravery is just looking fear in the face and telling it that is dos not win because I have known The Lord here. I have known The Lord in the long, dark night.The little bird sings loud in the dark. And slowly, the sun peaks over the horizon.At school I ask Joyce what her definition of courage is, and she says, “to have faith.” Maybe that is just it. That we still tremble, but more than that we have faith. That even though we feel uncertain, we press into a God who is so certain, so sure, so steady. He carries us, He lifts our heads. And His unfailing love and comfort becomes our courage and our hope.It is days later and it is raining. The huge drops pelt our tin roof so hard that we can hardly hear a thing, but as the rain slows, I make out a familiar noise and I laugh. It is the same little bird that cannot contain her song too early in the morning. I wonder where she is and how she can keep singing in this storm. I wonder why she sings. But the rain slows to a trickle and the sun peaks from behind the clouds and suddenly all I can hear is her glorious song.“To have faith, “I think. And I wonder, does she sing because she knows the sun is coming?And I want to be just like that little bird.Hope is a crazy thing, a courageous thing. That little bird, she feels the sun coming, knows with certainty that it will come, even when she can’t quite see it yet.We live in a world where innocent people suffer and good friends die and stories don’t have the endings we prayed for, and the pain and the hurt, it is everywhere. But the Joy and the Hope that we find in our Savior? It is everywhere, too.  I do not have all the answers; in fact, I don’t have many at all. But this is what I know: God is who He says He is. And in the hurt and the pain and the suffering, God is near, and He is good, even when the ending isn’t.And I can sing, because I know what is coming. I can hope, because I know Who is coming.In the dark of the night, I have seen His face, and I have known His promises to be true, and I know the Light is coming.And I want to be brave enough to hold out the hope of the Gospel to a world that is hurting and alone and afraid. Not a hope that is the absence of pain or heartache or suffering, not optimism disguised as hope that waits for the best-case scenario or happy ending, but a Hope that is the knowledge and full assurance that our Savior is on His way. It’s not light yet, but I know Him, the One who is the Light.And so in the dark, I will sing. Read more

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-11-07 15:54:00

Just one little bird. She’s up when the stillness of 5:30 nudges me awake and I struggle to peel back heavy eyelids. She’s up and she sings. I wonder how she can even tell that it’s almost morning. I wonder why she sings yet. I tip-toe to the coffee pot and flick on barely enough lights as to not wake my children, and this is my quiet time and I briefly just wish that one little bird would be quiet.“It’s not light yet. Shhhh. It’s not light yet.”I lift my eyes from the worn pages of Isaiah and my gaze falls on Sarah’s notebook, left haphazardly on the table after yesterday’s writing assignment. She wrote that I was brave. That I had courage. But as I sit there in the dark, I think that I am not.I miss my friends. I know where they are, and that it is better, by far, than suffering and sickness, but I wish they were here. I miss Betty’s smile as I wiped her forehead and the way her weak hand felt in mine, her fingernails hot-pink. I miss the still, quiet hours by her bedside and the way her eyes understood even if her ears did not.  I miss Katherine’s laugh, loud and audacious and when I see her children smile, I see her, and I wish the ending had been different. And I see Sarah’s words on the paper, “Our sick friend lived with us for a long time and my mom was brave and took care of her. I saw her praying for her and I know that she was loved and cared for. My mom kept her, and she had courage.”And I cry, because I do not feel courageous. I feel downright defeated sometimes. Maybe courage is not at all about the absence of fear but about obedience even when we are afraid. Courage is trusting when we don’t know what is next, leaning into the hard and knowing that it will be hard, but more, God will be near.  Maybe bravery is just looking fear in the face and telling it that is dos not win because I have known The Lord here. I have known The Lord in the long, dark night.The little bird sings loud in the dark. And slowly, the sun peaks over the horizon.At school I ask Joyce what her definition of courage is, and she says, “to have faith.” Maybe that is just it. That we still tremble, but more than that we have faith. That even though we feel uncertain, we press into a God who is so certain, so sure, so steady. He carries us, He lifts our heads. And His unfailing love and comfort becomes our courage and our hope.It is days later and it is raining. The huge drops pelt our tin roof so hard that we can hardly hear a thing, but as the rain slows, I make out a familiar noise and I laugh. It is the same little bird that cannot contain her song too early in the morning. I wonder where she is and how she can keep singing in this storm. I wonder why she sings. But the rain slows to a trickle and the sun peaks from behind the clouds and suddenly all I can hear is her glorious song.“To have faith, “I think. And I wonder, does she sing because she knows the sun is coming?And I want to be just like that little bird.Hope is a crazy thing, a courageous thing. That little bird, she feels the sun coming, knows with certainty that it will come, even when she can’t quite see it yet.We live in a world where innocent people suffer and good friends die and stories don’t have the endings we prayed for, and the pain and the hurt, it is everywhere. But the Joy and the Hope that we find in our Savior? It is everywhere, too.  I do not have all the answers; in fact, I don’t have many at all. But this is what I know: God is who He says He is. And in the hurt and the pain and the suffering, God is near, and He is good, even when the ending isn’t.And I can sing, because I know what is coming. I can hope, because I know Who is coming.In the dark of the night, I have seen His face, and I have known His promises to be true, and I know the Light is coming.And I want to be brave enough to hold out the hope of the Gospel to a world that is hurting and alone and afraid. Not a hope that is the absence of pain or heartache or suffering, not optimism disguised as hope that waits for the best-case scenario or happy ending, but a Hope that is the knowledge and full assurance that our Savior is on His way. It’s not light yet, but I know Him, the One who is the Light.And so in the dark, I will sing. Read more

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-10-11 10:50:00

Eight-year-old Angela Amoiti lives deep in the Ugandan village of Buyizia. As we travel on the washed out roads, Angela informs us this is her first time in a motorcar. Winding roads and thick trees hide the home where this beautiful girl lives with her mother, father, and sister Sarah.Neighboring children meet us on the road and walk alongside the car to Angela’s home… read more about my friend Angela here Read more

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-10-11 10:50:00

Eight-year-old Angela Amoiti lives deep in the Ugandan village of Buyizia. As we travel on the washed out roads, Angela informs us this is her first time in a motorcar. Winding roads and thick trees hide the home where this beautiful girl lives with her mother, father, and sister Sarah.Neighboring children meet us on the road and walk alongside the car to Angela’s home… read more about my friend Angela here Read more

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-10-11 10:50:00

Eight-year-old Angela Amoiti lives deep in the Ugandan village of Buyizia. As we travel on the washed out roads, Angela informs us this is her first time in a motorcar. Winding roads and thick trees hide the home where this beautiful girl lives with her mother, father, and sister Sarah.Neighboring children meet us on the road and walk alongside the car to Angela’s home… read more about my friend Angela here Read more

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-08-25 21:13:00

Want to keep up with all we are doing over here at Amazima?Click here!Here is  our latest:Last week, Amazima hosted our first support group for Amazima families affected by HIV and AIDS.  It got off to a late start as here in Uganda, “9am” me… Read more

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-08-25 21:13:00

Want to keep up with all we are doing over here at Amazima?Click here!Here is  our latest:Last week, Amazima hosted our first support group for Amazima families affected by HIV and AIDS.  It got off to a late start as here in Uganda, “9am” me… Read more

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-08-25 21:13:00

Want to keep up with all we are doing over here at Amazima?Click here!Here is  our latest:Last week, Amazima hosted our first support group for Amazima families affected by HIV and AIDS.  It got off to a late start as here in Uganda, “9am” me… Read more

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-08-02 11:34:00

I know, I kind of abandoned ship here for a while. I didn’t mean to leave you hanging.Katherine’s death has taken me a lot longer to process than most things usually do. Maybe because it felt like a big final loss after a season of lots and lots of losses. Maybe because I have a tendency to want to see redemption here and now, to want to tie it all up in a neat little package, even though I know that His ways are not my ways and a “good ending” is not always seen in this lifetime. Maybe because I feel that I should have some kind of understanding before I bear my heart to the world.Friends, God is still good and God is still working. In a season of much loss and much hardship, He whispers, “Look how far I have carried you. And still I go before you.”But trying to tell you where I am at right now feels a little like trying to serve grape juice as wine. Words on a screen feel like a cheap substitute, unable to capture the grace and the mercy that God has shown us during this season, unable to explain the nearness I have felt and the new ways the Father is revealing His heart to me.There is joy in this place. There is peace in this place. It is Jesus. He is very near to us. And I am writing it all down in hopes that one day soon I will again feel that it is time to share it with the world.But for now there is something very sacred about sharing my heart with Jesus only.Thank you for those of you who continue to check in on us and who continue to pray. That you would sit before the Father on our behalf means more to me than I could ever tell you here. Betty is still living with us. She is a constant reminder of God’s love to me. Health wise, she is recovering very slowly, but she knows the Savior and she is a fighter. She is full of joy, and it is our joy to care for her.Simon and his grandmother are also living with us while Simon gains weight and gets ready for another surgery. Simon’s grandmother is darling and extremely devoted to caring for Simon. It is always a bit stretching to share our home with new people for an extended period of time, but I am thankful for the way the Father grows us in community, the way that He can turn strangers into family.The girls are doing phenomenally well, growing like weeds and doing great in school. Watching them grow in their knowledge and love of the Lord is by far the best part of parenting. Without a doubt, parenting reveals to me more of my own depravity and more of my loving Father’s heart than anything else ever could. I am humbled and grateful.To all who ask the question, “Are you ok?” The answer is a resounding “Yes.” I am more in love with my Savior than I have ever been before. I pray that each day my love for Him would only grow. He is good to us, friends, and He doesn’t ever, ever leave.Thank you, again for your prayers and your love. I will be back soon. You can continue to keep up with Amazima here in the mean time. Read more

on earth as it is in heaven 2013-08-02 11:34:00

I know, I kind of abandoned ship here for a while. I didn’t mean to leave you hanging.Katherine’s death has taken me a lot longer to process than most things usually do. Maybe because it felt like a big final loss after a season of lots and lots of losses. Maybe because I have a tendency to want to see redemption here and now, to want to tie it all up in a neat little package, even though I know that His ways are not my ways and a “good ending” is not always seen in this lifetime. Maybe because I feel that I should have some kind of understanding before I bear my heart to the world.Friends, God is still good and God is still working. In a season of much loss and much hardship, He whispers, “Look how far I have carried you. And still I go before you.”But trying to tell you where I am at right now feels a little like trying to serve grape juice as wine. Words on a screen feel like a cheap substitute, unable to capture the grace and the mercy that God has shown us during this season, unable to explain the nearness I have felt and the new ways the Father is revealing His heart to me.There is joy in this place. There is peace in this place. It is Jesus. He is very near to us. And I am writing it all down in hopes that one day soon I will again feel that it is time to share it with the world.But for now there is something very sacred about sharing my heart with Jesus only.Thank you for those of you who continue to check in on us and who continue to pray. That you would sit before the Father on our behalf means more to me than I could ever tell you here. Betty is still living with us. She is a constant reminder of God’s love to me. Health wise, she is recovering very slowly, but she knows the Savior and she is a fighter. She is full of joy, and it is our joy to care for her.Simon and his grandmother are also living with us while Simon gains weight and gets ready for another surgery. Simon’s grandmother is darling and extremely devoted to caring for Simon. It is always a bit stretching to share our home with new people for an extended period of time, but I am thankful for the way the Father grows us in community, the way that He can turn strangers into family.The girls are doing phenomenally well, growing like weeds and doing great in school. Watching them grow in their knowledge and love of the Lord is by far the best part of parenting. Without a doubt, parenting reveals to me more of my own depravity and more of my loving Father’s heart than anything else ever could. I am humbled and grateful.To all who ask the question, “Are you ok?” The answer is a resounding “Yes.” I am more in love with my Savior than I have ever been before. I pray that each day my love for Him would only grow. He is good to us, friends, and He doesn’t ever, ever leave.Thank you, again for your prayers and your love. I will be back soon. You can continue to keep up with Amazima here in the mean time. Read more

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