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Saturday, July 22, 2017

It's good to be king

Our next few days were spent on several different safaris from the Ngorongoro Crater to the Serengeti National Park.  There were so many things about these days that were amazing but one thing that stood out were the prides of lions.  It was incredible to watch these majestic animals in the wild.  There is a reason they are called the King of the jungle.  It was also overwhelming to see them up close and personal, like close enough to touch outside our vehicle!
Some characteristics of the prides that we noticed:

  • They traveled in groups
  • They snuggled tightly together

  • When it was time for them to hunt, they anticipated each other's move and moved in harmony with one another 

  • They were quiet and still for l-o-n-g periods of time

  • They ran fast when they needed to
  • They would fight for what they thought was theirs.

Seeing the prides of lions was a great reminder of how I should live me life.  To live in close fellowship with those around me, knowing other's well enough to anticipate other's needs, to live in harmony with my friends and family.  Being quiet and still.  To run the race well and fight for what is right.  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Let the journey begin..

My husband and I love to travel.  Several years ago, we went on our first international mission trip.  It was at that time, we both agreed that we didn't want to travel without connecting two things we are passionate about, exploring the world and supporting missions.
We had already planned to take a vacation to Africa and in God's perfect planning, we were introduced to TivaWater which provides clean water to villages in Africa.  We were thrilled to go on this trip and explore the culture and beauty of Africa and also serve.
We started our adventure exploring the national parks of Tanzania.

The kids loved the land cruiser with the pop up top so they could stand and see the animals.  It was a visual overload! The only word that kept coming out of my mouth was, "wow"!
I could NOT stop taking pictures of all the wildlife.

We saw giraffes, zebras, elephants, dwarf mongoose, lions, ostrich, dikdiks, hippos, rhinos and so much more.  We had a picnic in the middle of the park and watched as guests that didn't guard their lunch would have their food stolen by black faced monkeys! In the picture below, this monkey had just stolen an apple off the table to the left....

We were in awe watching the animals and filled with laughter watching the monkey's antics.
As we drove out of the park, we visited a village of the Maasai tribe, which is a primitive and nomadic tribe.

They welcomed us into their village with a tribal dance and showed us their homes which consisted of a straw roof, cowhide bed, and dirt floor.  The leader of the tribe that toured us through his village had gone to college but came back to his villages to care for his people (something I wish we could say happened more in America...)
We finished our day at a lodge overlooking a hillside of a working coffee farms.

Since we were still having a hard time adjusting to the time change and very full day(s) of safari,  we were up early and to bed early!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

An adventure of the heart

We just returned from Africa on Saturday.  We are still adjusting to the 8 hour time change.  8:00pm still seems like 4am to by body.  We have forced ourselves to stay up as late as possible, which isn't much past 8 but we are still getting up early in the morning. I kinda like the early to bed, early to rise routine although I might need to make it until at least 9pm so I can be a little more productive.  As it is now, we are barely making it past the kids for bedtime.  We have unpacked our suitcases and everything is put back into place with a few exceptions.  I am having a hard time unpacking all the memories.  So, I will be "unpacking" some of my memories, reflections, and take-aways in the postings to come.  Hope you enjoy reading how Africa spoke to my heart.
These smiles are like confetti to my soul!

Thank you TivaWater for allowing us to come alongside you 
and share in your insight to sharing the love of Christ to the people of Africa 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Go see Wonder Woman!

20 things I loved about Wonder Woman

This will be one of those movies that I will see again and again! 
You can just go ahead and add it to one my all time favorites!

1. The story begins with mankind being made out of God’s image.
2. Wonder Woman is sculpted from clay!
3. Wonder Woman talks about denying the pleasures of the flesh
4. The given choice between darkness and light in each of us
5. A classic story of good vs. evil
6. It forces the main characters to represent truth
7. It tells the story of childhood dreams
8. She was bold and courageous, standing up for what was right and good.
9. It talks about seeing past the bad to see the goodness in others
10. It makes you believe in the true power of love
11. Believing in strength beyond what you think you are capable of
12. It inspires HOPE!
13. She became the hero she needed to be.
14. It shows what sacrificing one’s life for the sake of another looks like
15. A story about bringing peace
16. Its about what you believe in, not about what you deserve
17. It tells the story of how only love can truly save the world
18. Fighting for those that can not fight for themselves
19. Being on mission to fight for what you believe in and giving yourself to that mission
20. It challenges you to ask the question…..What is Your mission? 

Thursday, March 02, 2017

a journey within our home

We recently welcomed a "stranger" into our home.  We are hosting an international student.  She came to live with us for 5 months.  We did not know her or even that she was coming into our home until a couple weeks prior to her arrival.  She came into our lives and immediately, we embraced her.  She has been a part of our daily routine.  I no longer have to count how many plates to get out, the one extra has become natural.  
We have shared our favorite meals together. She has introduced us to some of her favorite recipes.  I have attempted to make some special recipes for her, some were good, some we got a good laugh.  We have attempted to speak Spanish and she gives us helpful pointers on our pronunciation.  We have  had many laughs over our English and especially southern phrases that have gotten misunderstood.  We have even developed some "inside jokes" in some terms translated that have very different meaning.  
Our kids have welcomed her into our home.  My daughter gained an older sister while my son has learned to deal with having two girls in the house!  They have learned to accept the subtle cultural differences and appreciate just how similar our families are even though they live across the globe.  

She has taught us so much in the short amount of time that she has been with us.  
I have learned that being flexible and patience is important, leaving for school five minutes later than usual is okay, bedtimes can be adjusted and everyone can still function fine.  I have learned that our speech, body language, and tone are complicated.  I am learning everyday to pause before I speak.  Words are such valuable tools even when we speak the same language, even more valuable when translation is involved.  

Have you ever considered welcoming a stranger into your home?  Someone that you had never met and had no previous connection? Sounds like a strange question...I know. We have had the great privilege and are finding ourselves loving this stranger that has now become part of our family!  A little part of Spain now lives in our hearts.

And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him.  The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:33-34

Sunday, December 25, 2016


It's Christmas.
Presents were unwrapped. We spent wonderful time with family. We shared a great meal and fellowship. But at the end of the day,I am sad.
Saddened by my sin.
Saddened that each day I repeat the same patterns.
Saddened that even though I know the stupidity of my sin, I still don't change.
It's Christmas night. These are my thoughts.
He came. He became flesh. He knew my thoughts. He knew my heart ❤️ and he came. He came despite myself. He loves me still.
On his birthday, you would think I could go a day blameless. Without sin. But if that was the case, he would have no need to become flesh, to dwell amongst us. He knew that even on his birthday I would not be worthy, and yet he came!
Tonight as I lay my head to rest on Jesus' birthday I am reminded of His unfailing love for me despite my failings.
Yet, while I was a sinner, Christ came to earth, dwelled amongst us and died for us!  (Romans 5:8)

Sunday, December 04, 2016

She came into our lives 7 years ago.  She was 13 at the time.  We met while serving on a family mission trip. She was extremely shy and timid at the time.  But that didn't keep her from serving and becoming connected with my kids very quickly.  

She quickly became a sweet addition to our family.  She loved my kids and we loved her.  
We have watched her go through seasons of life.  We were there when she turned 16.  She was there for my children's birthdays.  We watched her as she graduated and went off to college. We are blessed to have her as an extension of our family.  
She has become someone my kids look forward to spending time with,  goof off with
and live life with.