Saturday, November 29, 2014

Trading dreams...

One of the things I love about Zambia is the spontaneousness in life... and the unpredictability... We usually say that one thing is predictable... and that is unpredictability. :)

This morning I woke up and had one of team mates came in and said "the little boys are outside"... my first statement was "I told them yesterday no playing until Monday, because today is the party!"  
He followed that by... "well, they say their sister is missing. "  My response: "oh!  let me get my shoes!"  

After much search and effort... police reports, tears, and a Lifesong mini search party... She was found!  The things that go through your mind when one of your grade 2 students are missing can down right scare a person!  

I quickly had to move on to decorating and final details of our Grade 7 and 9 party... as well as send my hubs off to the Dr. as he isn't feeling well, possibly malaria.  

The party begins... music... dancing... food... and slide shows... 

I speak.  God's handprint on all of our lives is evident.  

When I first landed in this great place... they were small... dirty... rough.  What I see now isn't that.  They are clean... smart... amazing. 

 I didn't do that... God did that... through Lifesong... through teachers... through our staff families who are willing to do the hard things:  
did you know that At least 4 of our Zambian staff families are fostering kids from our school?  

That this morning it wasn't the police, but classmates who found the girl. 

 It wasn't the student's father who comforted and counseled her, but her teacher and our maintenance man?  

Did you know that we had to TURN AWAY some of our staff from being houseparents in our new boarding program because we don't have enough homes built yet?

Do you know how awesome THAT is?  

Godly Zambian adults pouring their lives into vulnerable Zambian children.  

Today the grade 9s wrote and recited a poem.  
One of the lines said "you are sacrificing your dreams to make ours come true." 

 It's true... our staff could make more money elsewhere... so could our family.  

"you are sacrificing your dreams to make ours come true. " 

Trading our dreams for God's never leaves us with regret... this is worth it.  

It's worth it to witness transformation before your eyes.  

It's worth it to hear the laughs from a classroom.  

It's worth it to be a parent in their lives.  

It is worth. it.  

They are worth. it.  

Jesus is worth. it. 


Monday, November 10, 2014

When the Tooth Fairy doesn't come...

I'm sad,  mommy"... were the words I woke up to this morning.  "Why?" I asked in a foggy daze at 5:15 a m.  "Because the tooth fairy didn't come."  

Heart sinks.

Epic Fail. 

Chalk another one up for me and it's only 5:15 am. 

"How did I forget?"  

"What kind of mother am I?"

"My parents never forgot."

And the guilt cycle begins before the rooster crows and the day begins.  If you're a mom, you know the cycle... that deeply felt searing guilt.  right?  

For me, as any mom, the guilts and failure stack pretty high.  

I've robbed the kids from their grandparents

They are missing out on so many traditional "American" things

My light skinned blondies are going to get skin cancer in this African Sun

I never got around to.... doing that craft... giving out the ice cream.... reading that book (the list is endless)

They have to share me with so many other kids

I couldn't cut it homeschooling and doing ministry


What's next?  "The Christmas Santa forgot?"

As moms, we all beat ourselves up over so many things.  I only listed about 1/1000 of the guilts and failures I have... pertaining to 3/5 of my kids.  2/5 have a list all to themselves which is probably much longer and more complicated... 

So often times I just think... "Why me?"  Why did God choose me for this job?  Why did He plop me in the middle of Africa when I was already in over my head as a mom in my own culture, with things I was comfortable and familiar with?  Then... HOW am I going to do this well?  How do I erase the memory "the tooth fairy forgot me" ... and all the other times I fail.  

So, it's true... in our weakness HE is made perfect.  In every failure, there is an opportunity to point to one who never fails.  In our second guessing, we can cling to his sovereignty.  

So, today... it's 6:15 am... and I will get up... "shake it off" in the wise words of Taylor Swift... fill myself with his TRUTHS... and pray for the ability to SEE opportunities to love my kids well and let God's grace cover all the past failures... and many failures to come.