Sweet [Exhausted] Mercy

We made it.

And I’m almost too tired to type another word.

30 hours and mostly still smiling (not one meltdown, so clearly miracles happen).

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We landed at 7am and hit the ground running. We arrived at the home and got reacquainted. Everyone is shy at first, babies tentative to white strangers.

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Well. Most.

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We shared gifts with all the residents and staff and took a tour of our new home and the recent additions.

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It’s surreal being in Kenya again. Loving mercy, being eyewitnesses to all God has done.

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Also: What happens in Kenya stays in Kenya

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One of my kids got stuck in a bathroom for half an hour and we had to break the door down. That was fun. You can take that family out of the USA, but you can take THAT family out of us. Apparently.

I’m so glad you’re here with us!

P.S. Don’t you love my Team Mercy shirt? Our new Team Mercy Advocacy Program starts in 2014. It’s the perfect way for families to join our team and help reach more girls in Kenya for Christ.


Last Minute

Our bags are packed, weighed, rearranged, unpacked, repacked ready for Africa. (And I have a large supply of chocolate and Xanax for my travel anxiety. And all the other passengers said AMEN).

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We leave on a big plane tomorrow and layover in Amsterdam. Since our kids are traveling with us this trip, I was on the hunt for cheap plane tickets a few months ago, which should explain the 12 hour layover in Holland and the 9 hour red eye to Kenya. And also the cranky exhausted kids I’m expecting.

Remind me of that okay?

I’m always excited SLASH nervous when I travel to Kenya. It’s like stepping into a completely different world where you lose control and expectations. I’ve gone half a dozen times now, but this trip, this trip will be like no other. 

12 babies, y’all. 

I want you to come with me. I want you to taste, smell , hear and see. I can’t wait to show you what you’ve helped create. I can’t wait to show you joy only God can bring.

I can’t wait to show you miracles.

Would you pray for us? (Specifically for peace and wisdom, endurance and grace over the next 12 days)

I’m praying for you, too. 


When All You Have is a Half Empty Basket

I don’t have much to give.

But I have a lot to do.

Do you know that place? The one where you have a list a mile long, pressure that is suffocating, responsibility that is frightening and a host of people asking for more?

Sure you do. If you’re a mom, this is what you call life.

Yesterday someone asked me to email them a link and I burst into tears.  Apparently I found my breaking point and it all came crashing down with a recipe. A RECIPE, people.

My house is a pile of suitcases and lists and stressed out people. There have been ugly words this week, tears over lost things and grief over things we need to lose. We are the most unlikely crew to get on a plane at the end of the week and fly across the globe again to Kenya and spend our time serving these girls and their babies.

We don’t always know where our yes will lead us. And we don’t always feel qualified to follow.

But we go.

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I can’t help but think of a little boy in a Bible story from a long time ago. The one who said yes, I have a lunch to share in a mass of hungry people.

His basket was half empty or half full, depending on how you see baskets.

He didn’t have much.

His small offering wasn’t enough to meet the need. Sounds familiar.

But Jesus didn’t need the contents of his basket. He just need the little boy to offer it.

And today, with stacks of laundry teetering dangerously, arguing children, a sink full of dishes and loads of packing and decisions before me, I’m holding up my basket too.

It isn’t much, y’all.

My offering looks a lot like a couple of stale pieces of bread and left over fish.

Hardly worth giving.

But I’m holding up my half-empty basket to God. It’s filled with a desire to tell a story and a lot of fear and it’s all I’ve got. The world says it’s not enough to feed the mass, they say I’m not enough. And they are right.

But God is enough. He is strong where I am weak.

When God breaks my offering, He breaks me. I want to give my life away. Piece by piece. He blesses it. Multiplies my insignificant gift and makes it enough.

And maybe today you need a cup of coffee and a long break. A break from your half empty life, your not-good-enough offering. Your smallness. Your list that is too long, your messy house, your marriage that is half of what you want it to be, your bills that are too big, your calling that is too hard.

Listen, close. This is God’s truth whispered in your ear: God doesn’t want you to be a perfect mother or wife. He isn’t waiting for you to get your act together. He isn’t shaking His head at your pathetic basket offering. He simply wants you to offer what you have.

Because He will make it enough.


I’m In Countdown Mode

My life is composed of numbers right now.

Our family leaves for Kenya in 15 days. We will be out of the country for 12 days. When we get back it will be 21 days before Christmas and we’ve got 2 birthdays and an anniversary during that time, plus all the other stuff that December brings. I’ve got 47 things on my To Do List–things like explain why I can’t serve on jury duty and be in Africa at the same time, pick up malaria medicine and finish Christmas shopping. You know-THE USUAL.

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This will be our first time to travel to Mercy House during the holidays. We are exchanging turkey, dressing and pie for green grahams, cabbage and chapati. What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to be an eyewitness to the countless miracles God has performed?And I know when we get home- exhausted and processing another trip-the last thing I’ll want to do is decorate or shop.

Over the past few years, I’ve loved having a simpler Christmas celebration with just my favorite nativity sets out and the kid’s ornaments on the tree and three gifts for each of my children. I think being in Kenya in the weeks leading up to Christmas will be a great way for our family to focus on what the season is really about.

Dayspring sent me this adorable wooden Merry Christmas – Christmas Countdown Calendar to help my family countdown to Christmas easily. I love how simple it is, with a wooden peg marking each day and a bit of encouragement like spread joy and sit and rest. I’m already looking forward to December 14th for that one!

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This Christmas Countdown Calendar is a colorful, meaningful new line at Dayspring and I love it. And today, you can get 25% off this festive piece just in time to start counting down to the best day of the year.

Use this code to get 25% off: WATFChristmas valid today through next Thursday the 14th.

And just in case you’re wondering, there are 22 days until Thanksgiving and 47 days until Christmas. Not that I’m counting…


The Day After Halloween

We robbed the hood last night of their candy.

And then after the kids went to bed, I stole my favorite chocolate out of their buckets. It’s what I like to call a tax.

I ate a mini Kit Kat bar at 2 am. I sort of regret that.

 

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I really thought about doing this, but we have enough drama.

Y’all have a great weekend!