Friday, July 31, 2009

My White Flag

As a little girl, I remember telling my mother that all I wanted to do when I grew up was marry a man just like my Dad and move into a house just like theirs right next door. I’d like to say that my dreams evolved as I aged, but they didn’t, not really. In my teenage years, my goal was to be a wife and mother and not much else. I still remember what a shock it was when I graduated high school and suddenly realized that this may not happen right away and what the heck was I supposed to do now?

So you’re probably asking yourself [and I know because I ask myself all the time], how did this Suzie Homemaker wind up so far from home in Africa of all places? It’s funny how when you are obedient, God takes our plans and dreams for our lives and revolutionizes them to such a degree that they don’t resemble anything you had ever thought possible. And I mean ‘funny’ in a sarcastic way, because I’m still a little bitter over the whole thing, but I’m working on it.

My family came for a visit this month and it was amazing. We had such a good time, full of laughter and new discoveries. I knew that when they left it would be difficult and it was, but for completely different reasons then I had imagined. I was surprised at how desperately I wanted to be going back with them, not simply for their presence, but because I longed to return to the comfortable. This past Sunday, as I sat in church, we sang a song about surrender and I clearly heard Jesus ask me if I was ready to truly surrender my future to Him. What if I never moved back to Spokane? What if I never lived near my family again? What if I never got married and had children? Am I willing to trust him with my tomorrow, my next year, my next ten years?

I realized that though I had been talking a good talk, when it came right down to it, I was holding a big part of myself away from Him, saying, ‘You can have these few years, but the rest of my life is mine,’ and I didn’t even know I was doing it. The best I can say now is that I’m working on it. I haven’t waved my white flag yet, but I know He is patient with me through the process.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Family Visit: Photo Blog #2

Feeding scheme in Kabokweni

Sports Day in Embonisweni

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Family Visit: Photo Blog #1

Jack, Spencer, and Zach

Spencer picking up Rich . . .

Rich attempting to pick up Spencer . . .

Pancakes at Graskop

Jack doing the Big Swing in Graskop . . .

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nervous Anticipation

In just a few days, my family is trekking across the ocean to visit me for two weeks. As a family, we are really close. It's hard on all of us that many of us live so far apart, and yet, they are all so supportive they give me strength to live in Africa without them.

The whole family this last Christmas

My parents, Russ and Mary

My parents and all five of my brothers are coming, and I am so excited I can barely stand it. We're going to do all the touristy stuff I don't have the time or the inclination to do anymore. We'll go to Kruger Park, the waterfalls, eat pancakes at Harry's in Graskop, and we're going for a 3 day trip to the beach in Mozambique!

My brother Derek

My sister Danielle and brother Spencer

The details have been stressing me out a bit, but in reality, I'm nervous to have them here. What will they think of the life I have here? Will they love South Africa as much as I do? I feel pressure to make the trip perfect for them though I know better and I would love a vacation from myself at the moment.

Be praying for my family and me these next few weeks. For safe travels, open communication, and lots, and lots of fun!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Staying Busy . . .

Africa is very different from the States. For one thing, it's an early to rise, early to bed culture, meaning that by 5 or 6:00pm the shops shut down and everyone goes home. I've adjusted pretty well to African time, but when I first moved here it took me awhile. During the day, I usually stay pretty busy, but the nights can drag on and can get pretty boring. My roommate Keri and I, have our comfortable nightly rituals, such as . . .

Lots and lots of DVDs . . .

Amarula [kinda like Baileys] and coffee . . .

Constantly on our computers . . .

Pretty darn exciting, huh? You know you're jealous.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Only in Africa

Found this on the back of a cheap, boxed wine . . .