Friday, November 30, 2012

Part 5 and a new start!

So, I have so many posts that I have started in my head.  Things God is revealing to me, teaching me, things I think others could benefit from, or I could just benefit from writing down.  Plus, posts about my kids, and remembering where they are in this phase in our lives (Micah still says upspide down instead of upside down and Eric and I just LOVE IT), but I am a finisher.  And I haven't posted about the last day in Uganda, there was some drama (which is not mine to share), so I won't go into details, but God was still moving!  We did move from a guest home to the Speke resort our last day there, it was beautiful!!!  So alas, here you go!
Part of our team: Carly, Katrina, Misty, Jack, Ashley, Tonya, Kevin, Donny & Kira
The last day there I just kept praying that God’s light would shine over the situation, and that everyone working with the Kirabo Seeds home would be strengthened.  I prayed for people that looked as if they lost a friendship, that were mourning.  Psalm 31 was constantly on my mind, and verse 5 has since been a daily prayer: “Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.”  It sums up my trip well, that when I commit my spirit to God, my redeemer, my trustworthy lover of my soul, that His hand is in my life! 
More team: Claire, Carly, Katrina, Jack, Kevin, Misty, Ashley, Donny & Kira

So 4 blog posts and I still haven’t answered the question: How is God calling me to live differently in light of what I experienced?  It is partially answered and I am still seeking.  I think through my experience in Uganda, one of the first things I did was make myself get quieter.  For me, that meant quitting 2 of the side jobs I had.  In my journal when we were stuck for an extra day, I wrote “You’ve taught me this week Lord that I need more quiet in my life.  I need to retreat to you more.  Make you my shepherd all day, every day, not just when I feel like I need it.”  I had already, before I even left the continent, tried to do it without Him.  When our plane was delayed, I went into go-mode and it was almost a full 24 hours before I intentionally sat down to quiet myself in His word.  So I knew when I got back to 3 small children and jobs and responsibilities that I needed to seek His will and cut some things.  I can’t do it all, and I definitely don’t want to try and do it all poorly, so those things went almost immediately.  And I have been so relaxed since. 
Breathtaking scenery!
I also learned that I can proclaim His name boldly.  I was burned this past spring by someone who made me feel almost shamed for speaking out for Uganda.  That I didn’t love the orphans in America enough.  Thank God I was in my perspectives class at that time and was continually reminded that God’s promise was for every nation and every tongue!  But, I did withdraw and stop using my voice as much as I once had.  I hadn't yet blogged about my trip (which is why I finally made myself write this to Tonya and then put it on the blog) because I truly felt like I couldn't put it into words.  However, God has put in my path a few conversations about why I went, or where we are in our adoption, or who the picture of the black boy and girl on my fridge is if it isn’t our referral, and God has enabled me to share my heart for this beautiful country and the orphan crisis that is going on, and my true love for Kirabo Seeds and it’s vision.  I feel like I have my voice back! 
The young girls and I (except I'm 14 years older than they are!)
Beautiful waterfalls
Since being back, I keep praying Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  That I continue to seek being in His presence, fully, every day, and that He will make known to me the path of life.  In that, He has been refining me with a time of confession.  Ranging from not seeking Him first in regards to our homeschooling curriculum (i.e. thinking it’s too minute for Him), to not craving His word as deeply, not trusting Him fully, falling back into being selfish, but most importantly, for trying to take back the spiritual leadership of our family.   I love that He chooses to refine me and not just cast me aside.  I deeply yearn to go back to Uganda. I've been praying that God just touch Eric’s heart and let us all be on the same page.  When in fact, that wasn't really what I should have been praying.  His word doesn't say, “You make the path I want made known to my husband.”  I need to continue to seek His path for us.  And also commit to listening to my husband’s guidance.  He’s taking perspectives right now and I can feel it.  Change is coming, and I’m excited. 
One thing God made clear to me was that we are not moving to Uganda right now.  He did not take that desire out of my heart.  But, in this waiting period, God gave me a renewed sense of urgency with the 3 children He has already placed in my home.  That we seek every day to glorify Him and His calling on us to be sowers of the word. 
Through that, and in this transition, He has also called us to be a part of a new church plant.  When originally we began praying about this last January, it was easy to say, ‘No, Kingsland is where God wants us!  It has an adoption ministry, our friends are there, our support!’  But God would not take that tug out of my heart.  And so instead of waiting for the call that we weren't really listening for, we went!  God’s word never says to stay content and comfortable and wait on me when souls are at stake, it says Go!  And He showed me in Uganda that I can go and get out of my comfort zone and it be even more amazing than what I thought ‘comfort’ could be!!  He took the fear away, and I think He taught me that through my experience in Uganda.  He’s given me a renewed passion for finding where I fit NOW, HERE, TODAY!  I know there are people seeking Him that might not come to a large church setting.  We as a new church body have been passionately seeking and praying to God to bring the exact neighborhood we are to serve to us, and to begin softening their hearts to hear His gospel; that new members are added to His kingdom through this new work.  Which leads me to one of the final things that I learned and that is causing me to live differently now that I’m home.
This was near our original guest home.  Our friends recently adopted from Ethiopia and her name was Fasika, I couldn't pass up the photo!
And that is prayer.  I have always prayed, but I saw and felt the power of it so deeply while on my trip that I came home to a desire to pray without ceasing.  Not just praying but also listening for God’s voice.  I have a renewed passion for prayer, teaching it to my kids, keeping a journal of who or what God is burdening my heart for.  So that I can look back and see His answers.  And something new I’m experiencing is not feeling weird to just stop a conversation and pray right then and there.  It’s what I did in Uganda, why wouldn't I continue it at home?  The first time I was on the phone with a friend and I did that, it was such a renewal.  We've prayed together before, but she was sharing a burden, and instead of me getting in the way and trying to help or answer, I just immediately felt the need to turn to God for answers.  That has been an amazing part of this journey. 

I am so thankful that God called me on this journey.  Tonya and Craig let someone they barely knew into their home last year, even if I only gave them the name of a friend who would actually do the accounting J.  I felt a connection to their ministry before I even really knew them and I am so glad I didn't shy away and let fear or rejection keep me from partaking in Kirabo Seeds ministry.  It has been an extreme blessing in my life, and I am thankful to be able to call them friend.  And to be able to share the vision of Kirabo Seeds with people I meet!

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