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Monday, August 30, 2010

Mosi - oa - Tunya

             "The Smoke That Thunders"
     A wall of foam behind us, plunging 300 feet into the Zambezi River.  Moso-oa-Tunya or "the smoke that thunders" takes your breath away.  When I encountered this 'wonder of the world' it captured my attention and inspired me.  I knew then, that my destiny was something bigger than I could have imagined, forming on the horizon of my mind.  I really didn't have to travel half-way around the world to find it, but my journey has become part of my destiny.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Defer and Prefer

When I prefer the inklings of someone else, especially when they are in disagreement with my own preferences, the delicious outcome is the appreciation that flows out of your friend, spouse, significant other or even a stranger, when they realize what you have done on their behalf.  Often times they may not have a clue about your 'sacrifice', however, preferring and deferring has it's own reward.

Five years ago when my husband sent me an e-mail from Zambia, I read between the lines and replied,"when are we all going back to Zambia?!" If I didn't go back with him, I would have missed all those struggles, challenges and life-changing experiences that have helped to shape our lives, especially our son.  We can look back and review the outrageous moments and laugh, and share in the pride of making it through incredible hardships. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Here's my girl Lily! She had some fun in the water when we took her down to the river!

The Day We Found Lily

I felt nervous, excited and a touch anxious all at the same time. We were kind of quiet in the car, on our way.

     “We should call her and let her know we’re driving out to her house and we’re just about there. Here, use my phone, she’s in my contacts,” I said to my son.
     “1100 that’s the street number mom, turn here!”
     “Oh, I love this house. It’s beautiful out here. What a place – lots of wide open space for them to run,” I said as we pulled into the drive, parked up closer to the barn and walked up to where a young woman was standing.
     “Hi, I’m Jennifer, nice to meet you. They’re all in the barn.”
     “So nice to meet you too Jennifer!” Big day for us – we had a dog in Africa, but we left Simba with the rest of his family. It wasn’t right to take him from his home. He’s an African dog and it’s nothing like Africa here. He may not have survived the culture shock!
Before the door swung all the way open, we could see 2 or 3 snouts pushed through the crack.
     “They’re so cute – beautiful! How old are they?”
     “3 -4 months. Do you want to see the father? He’s the lab.”

     So that’s how it all began last week– the day we met Lily, part German Sheppard, part Lab. When Chad woke up that morning he stepped on the case for Lily Allen’s CD, and so it was how Lily got her name. She was a very shy and bashful puppy….at first. The owners named her The Shy One. Docile didn’t even begin to describe her. At first we had to literally carry her everywhere because she was too timid to even move. But not anymore! The parsonage is in the city, so she began to have a little whine when she was missing us that grew into kind of a louder whine/grunt and last night she found her voice when a moped turned down the alley and sped by her domain!

I’m on the same page with Lily. Like her, I am finding my voice. I hope it’s strong and beautiful but not too loud to scare you off!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 12, 2010

While in Africa, my supervisor spoke to me about his work as both a missionary and businessman which spanned most of his adult life. He struggled to get projects up and running, perfected in all of the details of operation before launching into another much needed enterprise. So much was needed among the people he was co-laboring with in this corner of the world. There was farming, planting, building and producing hand-made pieces to be sold in the free market - just to name a few. He was also involved with various ministry activities in several neighboring countries. He came to the conclusion that they would work simultaneously on all the projects - each in different stages of development, and not require that any of it had to be at a certain level of completion before they gave themselves permission to begin work on something else. He said it was very messy and chaotic most of the time. He learned to thrive in the chaos and not lose his momentum to dream, do, believe and conquor. So I will do the same. While my blog is under construction, I will continue writing as my design ideas bubble up to the surface of my thoughts.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It's A Giveaway!

My entry for DL Hammon's High Drama Giveaway is the first post on my blog which I just began creating yesterday at about 2pm at The Best of Blogging with River Lin.  Even though it's under construction, for the sake of High Drama, I've decided to jump right in and submit my post!

We were 2 weeks from homelessness. And did I mention unemployed? Fourteen days inside the all-time adventure of our lives: how many websites, telephone inquiries, job leads and inside connections could we navigate in the next 336 hours? This evening I put myself in the back of the boat. I was riding in the surreal tranquility found in the center of this raging storm. I was tempted to turn my gaze toward those tumultuous waves, splashing a wet appetite for despair trying to drown me, but I kept my focus straight ahead.

Sail on! I said to myself. I’ve no other choice but to ride the helm as my Sea Captain sliced into the biggest career change of his late-forties. Was there any kind of precursor to avoid this arduous adventure in unemployment? Because we did promise our daughter to keep her securely wedged into her academic environment. It was an expensive private academy, but oh so validating to her as a writer in the making, a teen who gets in your face asking questions and doesn’t accept an idea just because that’s the way it’s always been done. Camille is creating and learning to think; to figure out life in her own way, often at times on her own terms, facing her fears.

Tomorrow, my captain told me we should divide and conquer. He would continue his Wi-Fi infinite internet postings, promising paradise in employment and I was to inquire about a room at the homeless shelter.

Would I what?! How did we get here?! I moaned, brushing the tears aside as they gathered in a wet puddle on my lap. Even in our current circumstances I wanted to keep that promise to our Camille, but it’s impossible. I can’t climb that mountain in front of us; neither can I bore through it. But I felt pressed to communicate to my man, our captain, that it is exciting to ride the crest of his dream. And I am thrilled to squint through the spray of a crested wave, watching him drive his spear headlong into the unknown.

Did I say thrilled? Shut up! What were we thinking when we just loaded up the U-Haul with all our stuff, leaving Delaware because we were ‘let go’. I was down-sized and Joe wouldn’t give into the sexual advances of his Supervisor. We called it an opportunity to chase after our dreams!

Along the way, Camille begins to facebook her frustration about being on such an emotional rollercoaster. She finds friends whose parents are working through similar hardships of job loss and moving around the country to stay with family, making all kinds of changes in their lives, learning to find security in relationships and hope in the unknown.

“But in further meditation and prayer, she writes, I have come to believe that the past 8 months have been a test of faith. He is my father, and I admit I am biased, but my dad is definitely a warrior for God!”

Did she say warrior?! She seems to have a kind of intuitive understanding about suffering and fighting. I want to be hopeful and optimistic too! But the circumstances against us are so dismal and overwhelming that I find myself acquiescing to the defeated.

Ugh! Why is this happening? A small crack of light squeezes under the door of my despair. John did get a job at the shelter, so we bypassed living with the homeless, but we can’t afford a place of our own with his current stipend. Is this why we finished seminary and graduate school, I muse? Is this some kind of mission!? No! Its death and humiliation all rolled up in a mattress on the floor with no frame. We’re sharing a home with a divorcee who took a risk to let us into his life after he got burned by an ex-con. I’ve thought about living in a tent, but the rain is pretty wicked here in Texas. And I’m really not ready for that kind of drama!