Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dust. to. Dust.

"the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." -Genesis 2:7.

I don't know about anyone else but the dirt is one of my worst enemies. Seriously for a person with contacts and clumsiness dirt has a way of finding itself in my eyes and nose and mouth and face. It's annoying sometimes, and if anyone has ever been in Africa then you know the dirt there is some of the dirtiest. No pun intended. It's hard to get off your clothes and your feet and hands and underneath your fingernails and for me it was always on me. And me being the normal person I am wondered how in the world did God form a man from this? What every person wonders, How can God make such beautiful things from dust, from the thing that gets people dirty.

It's an interesting concept to think about. "For He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust." -Psalm 103:14. We were formed from nitty gritty dirt and yet Jesus washes us clean, over and over and over again. And I think about it and I wonder why didn't God just snap His fingers and tada a man? But of course God is so awesome He gets His hand dirty... with DUST... and creates a man. A living, breathing, walking, talking man! And then from that man's rib he creates a woman. How amazing is it that our God can take nothing but dust and create something so wonderful so beautiful.

Dust. to. Dust. "All go to the same place; all come from dust and to dust all return." -Ecclesiastes 3:20.

This seems like a bunch of rambles but I know there is a coherent thought in here some where. I recently heard this song about how God makes beautiful things out of the dust and it just made me think hard. That God will make beautiful things out of the dust in our lives, and He will use our love and weak human efforts to build Himself a Kingdom. But just like God, we have to get our hands dirty. One of my favorite things in Uganda was the dirt. I loved the smell and the feel of it. I loved when we were filling up one of the rooms with dirt, because I smelt like it the rest of the week. It was awesome and I loved the feeling of it underneath my fingernails and the feel of it in my eye and the taste of it in my mouth. Gross right. But I was building something for God, towards His Kingdom and that was worth all the dust in my eye.

Life isn't about seeing how you can get by shining bright and clean, it's about getting a little grit in your skirt, a little dirt in the eye and underneath the fingernails, all in the name of God and building His Kingdom. The slogan for the organization I worked with this summer was "Get Dirty For God." and I have to say it fits not only my personality, but the work and the calling that God puts on lives. He doesn't call us to be Sunday Christians, He doesn't call us to be Fake Christians, who go serve somewhere for two weeks, stay in a hotel, and then go home and show all our souviners to our friends and families. He calls us to go and get dirty. To live with the people, to eat what they eat, feel what they feel, and get dirty.

You don't know the dirt is there until you get it in your eye or underneath your fingernails. And I think in our society we are blind to so much that is going on in the world, the rest of the world is like that to us. We don't know they are there until a hurricane or earthquake or famine hits them and then we want to move. But the truth is God is calling us to move now, because disaster is already there, we just have to open up our eyes long enough to let the dirt get in our eyes.

In Christ's Cleansing Love,

HIS and yours,


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I want to be reckless.

Things change so fast.
People change.
Faces change.
Places change.
Feelings change.
Life changes.
I've changed.
And yet, some things are the same.

I don't know how to put into words what my heart is going through. God only knows how much His love is pouring into me right now and how much I need it. It's been hard adjusting back to American Life, to Home life, and now to "Northwestern Life". Things here have changed and yet stayed the same, but I, I am different and right now I am trying to listen and take direction from God on what that means. My soul cries out to be with Him always, to forget about classes, forget about what this world calls important and GO to wherever He wants to take me. To be reckless... recklessly abandon to Him and to His will.
I'm not talking about a irresponsible uncaring kind of reckless, but a reckless that has Christ all over it. Christ in it, through it. I find that my recklessness desire is slowly creeping into my "Northwestern life." I want to make friends and share the love of Christ, and I could care less who they are or where they come from, but just the matter of loving new people that God has called me to love.
To run across the green singing worship songs... to SING, to DANCE, to LOVE, to LAUGH, to CRY, to be RECKLESS in all these things. What would that truly look like. Is there such a thing as a Christ-like recklessness? I don't know, but I want to find out.
I miss Uganda everyday, more and more. I miss singing and talking with the people there. Deep down I feel like I will return there, but only when it is God's timing and I need to realize that, because I know that He has things here for me to do, otherwise I wouldn't be here. Though since returning home I have seen many things much more clearly then I have before. That God has asked me to be a missionary wherever I am. He has called me to these friends, to this school, to my family, to the classes and the places I go. To shine His light, to share His love. To step out of my comfort zone even more so and REACH.
I know one thing is for sure. I need to shed this shy, nobody likes me exterior, and show people my heart, which is Christ. to Love DEEPER, to Laugh HARDER, to Sing LOUDER, to Dance CRAZIER. All in the name and honor and glory of my beautiful Lord, Jesus Christ.
No matter what's going to happen with Christ as my strength, I can do all things. Without Him I can do nothing. With Him the possibilities are ENDLESS.

In Christ's Sweet LOVE,

HIS and yours,


“…I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb… And they cried in a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” (From Revelation 7:9-10)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hellos, Goodbyes, Departing, Returning.

It's strange. The two words that can describe how I have felt since returning home not even 24 hours ago. It's strange to be riding in a car on the right side of the road. Strange to put my clothes in a washer and not in a bucket, to turn a faucet handle and water comes streaming through pipes, hot water nonetheless. Strange to sleep in a bed and not on a concrete floor. Strange to flush a toilet. Strange to not hear Mzungu yelled at me from every street. Strange to not see beautiful orphans. Strange to think that I am home, but my heart is still in Uganda.

This summer was everything I couldn't imagine, nothing was how I planned it in my head. And I know that is exactly how God likes it, and in all honesty I can't argue with Him. He knows me. Instead of being in constant contact and care with orphans, I help take care of sixteen American teenagers. Having sixteen very important lives in my hands was something that scared me to death, at times I felt like a mom or a big sister, but I grew, man did I ever grow.

But watching over these sixteen American kids, didn't detract from the bigger purpose God had for me, He sent me to Uganda, a place and a people that are forever engraved onto my heart and in my mind. The staff members, that I got to work along side with and got to know have forever changed my life with their love for the kids, for me and for everything God has given them, even when compared to American lifestyle, it's nothing. And the orphans. Words cannot describe what my heart feels for each one of them, even though I may not have been able to spend the amount of time I desired, God gave me chances and stories. The joy on their faces to receive a pair of socks and shoes, that some wouldn't put on because they wanted to save them for as long as they could. With so little they live and are blessed and are joyful. There are stories among stories that would take up pages and pages and yet I can't find but one word to describe the feeling in my heart. HUMBLED.

I am excited to share stories and pictures with family and friends and yet in my heart I know the stories and pictures will never ever do the experience justice. They could never truly feel what I have felt. Seen what I have really seen. Held a new born baby and dedicate it to the Lord. Cry, Laugh, Be Frustrated like I have been. But without the stories and the message that I bring back, people will never know the need and people will also never know the blessing, and the work that God has in His hands.

It is crazy to see this summer come and go so fast when it seems like just yesterday I was leaving home to go to Florida for training. And now here I sit, two months later, home. My words cannot even explain this summer and all that God taught me, through good and bad, expected and unexpected.

I know His plan for my life is far more than anything I could ever imagine and i will continue to wait on Him with prayer. I can't even fathom right now that I am home, or soon headed back to college and yet that is where I am headed. For I know my purpose is no yet finished there, especially at school. I pray that I can make it through this year smoothly and that God will help me to stay disciplined and not be distracted from what He has fro me.

The people and love of Uganda has forever left a giant footprint upon my heart and I know and hope that someday i will be able to return to that place. I have never felt more at home and comfortable then I did there. In my heart Uganda will always be; its orphans, its people, its love, its culture, and so much more. I praise God for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Who am I to be able to be a part in furthering the Kingdom of God? and yet He wants me, He is calling me unto Him and I will continue to serve Him with a heart full of joy and love in whatever He has me do.

"If the LORD delights in a man's way, He makes his steps firm: though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with His hand." -Psalm 37:23-24.

In Christ's unexplainable love,

HIS and yours,