Premeditated Resentment

I intentionally set my expectations low for my 40th, given that we are in the midst of high-stress transition, far from family and close friends. When things started out so good (sleep, flowers, chocolate caramels, lunch with new friends...I mean, really!) I felt down-right chipper and let it go to my head.

Then the phone call came. All you parents with children who struggle at school know the dreaded phone call. Kids were in his face pushing him about why he wasn't doing his work. He ignored them. They pushed harder. The teachers did nothing. He responded with a "fun-fact" that was interpreted as a threat. The principal agreed that it wasn't really a threat, but he "had to" give at least a 1-day suspension.

We weren't upset at our poor kid--we gave hugs and love and reassurance. But it didn't matter. The 12-eyed beast otherwise-known-as-shame had already set up house, and it managed to suck us all into that place of tension and angst.

I was a bi…

It's all good...

The amazing thing about life is that it keeps on going, no matter what it leaves in it's wake. Peaceful blissful times move on; confusing painful times move on.

My big 4-0 came and went in the middle of everything else going on. It seemed strange to be celebrating when so much is uncertain, but it's not every day you become a quadragenarian! I enjoyed the first half of the day very much; sleeping in while Chad got the kids to school, having unexpected chocolate and flowers arrive from coworkers, and a lunch with sweet new friends. Then school got out and life whacked me back into reality. I had no idea that asking my kids for a group photo with them would be such an unreasonable request! But there it is again. Bedtime finally arrived, life moved on. And I got a chance to celebrate again on Saturday with U-pick strawberries with happy kids and a good friend, and again on Monday when the kids went back to school and Chad and I could have a real date at The Cheesecake Factory!

Grieving as one with hope

"Please help our son pull himself together so we can be back to Kenya!"
It was a heart-wrenching prayer that started back on December 5, 2015. Counselors had just informed us that he needed more than we could get in Nairobi. It triggered a road of bewilderment and step-by-step following through some of the most twisted and confusing paths that we've ever walked. Chad cried out, one day, "We just played hard all season, and now we're being benched for the big game! It makes no sense!"

"Please, give us the tools to help our son thrive in Kenya!"
The crooked path took us to Raleigh, NC, a place where we had zero connections. A place where God provided a community, great schools, great counselors, and healing in areas we didn't even realize we were sick. It helped us cry out an equally heart-wrenching prayer that showed our growing understanding of our son's needs; understanding that he wasn't acting out of spite or purpose or sabotage. Tha…

Alphabet Soup

I re-read my latest blog, The Crooked Path, and wondered if I did a disservice to the missionary struggle by not "showing my work" from the months leading up to this point! The last thing I want to imply is that we're trying to decide if we want to go back to Kenya, or suggest that we're asking God if He's released us from Kenya because it's hard there and we're done.

Our hearts are in Kenya. We love the people. We love our jobs. We love our co-workers. We love being given a part to play in what God wants to accomplish there. In some ways, it feels like we were MADE for it! Of course there are hard parts about it--have I ever mentioned the traffic?--but there are also so many blessings and gifts, and it's home.

So why the crooked path? Why the questions?

Do you remember reading my thoughts on calling and how it was time to put my money where my mouth is? It's been awhile, for sure. For those who aren't sitting on the couch hanging on every w…

The Crooked Path

Everyone knows crooked paths conjure up images of dishonesty, or evil. No one wants to be on the crooked path. No--we want to be on the straight and narrow.

Grudgingly we accept that sometimes the straight and narrow might split and we're stuck momentarily at a cross-roads. We don't like that either, of course. Making decisions one way means turning away from the other way, and we just love having our cake and eating it too. And why not? Why would you have a cake  you weren't planning on eating? I've never understood that one. And I've never enjoyed cross-roads.

I thought I was at a cross-roads. Back in the US on Stateside for 12 months. Back in the US to get help for our son. And after that...a cross-roads. On one side, a return to Kenya. On the other, staying in America.

On one side--indescribable traffic, cultural stress, best friends, impossible school lunches, a deep sense of meaning, water shortages, eternal sunshine, adventure and instability and travel.

Thrift-shop Provisions

Anya is in Virginia, living out a teenager's dream with her own room, own TV, own computer, and no siblings at her grandparent's house for the next 2 weeks.

Chad is in New Mexico, living out an extrovert college minister's dream, networking with collegiate workers from around the US.

I'm in Raleigh, NC, living out a missionary-mom's nightmare, helping 3 emotionally-fragile TCKs adjust to a new place yet again, solo. But I have craig's list and Google Maps, so we've stocked up on wheels for this 'Wheels Warrior' gang. Only--no helmets. I wasn't that worried, since they were just doing circles in the empty church parking lot, but then I got adventurous and took them to a bike trail. Turns out my kids have the need for speed. I'm sure you could have told me that, any of you who know them. But I underestimated the speed at which Isaac would fly down the hills on that flimsy piece of tin, and I could almost see the nurse-shaming headlines read…

Textures of the Northwest

As we've been hiking and exploring Oregon, I've been enthralled by the beauty that is so different than East Africa's. The texture of the landscapes is what I love most--so many different greens and browns spots of stunning flowers scattered around.  Here are some of my favorite captures.