April 13, 2017

Thankful- HEADING HOME.

Today is it. I'm heading home. Back to the familiar of the States. I don't really have words to describe how that feels right now. I'm SO BEYOND EXCITED. So excited. Tacos. Family. Friends. Target. Farmer's Markets. Organized Streets. MY BED. My cat. A FRIDGE THAT DOES NOT GET TURNED OFF PRAISE HANDS ALL DAY. I'm probably just going to cry in excitement. Don't mind me just crying over the organization at Target and the abundance of taco restaurants, ya know, the usual. 

Yet as I sit here all I can think about is how I haven't done enough. Is it really time to go home? What do I have to show for it? 

But honestly? 

I'm not sure that matters. I've changed. This is changing me. God is changing me. 

AND I'M COMING HOME PEOPLE! 





Can't wait to see these beautiful faces in 30 hours! 30 HOURS. GET EXCITED. 
xox.

April 12, 2017

Tribe

I grew up hearing the opposite of the common phrase: you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. My mom always made it very clear we were able to choose our families. That’s in perfect contradiction to that very common phrase you hear thrown out again and again. Now that I’m older I understand the point she was trying to make. I grew up with my closest “Aunties” being my mom’s best friends. I didn’t know anything different. I always had aunts and uncles that weren’t technically blood relatives. But they are family. They’re the people you call in the middle of the night. As I’ve gotten older I’ve affectionately named this my tribe. Your tribe doesn’t have to be blood relatives. They’re a collection of the people that have your back no matter what. That love you, support you, call you on your stuff when you need it and are always there for you.


The family you get you get. That’s it. I can’t change my lineage or the people who are genetically related to me. But I have complete control of my tribe. So here’s a shoutout to my very badass tribe. [I know I know should missionaries-yuck on that word- cuss? What can I say I’m a rebel] Love you and wouldn’t be in Uganda without you. 


Sista Friend who let's me take selfies in the middle of the street.

Fave people on the planet. 

These two. I don't even have words. LOVE YOU BOTH.

Shoutout to this babe who's birthday it is today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KARA! xox.
T. Payne and I at the Farmer's Market.
Julie + Momma + Tracy as Cows. Aren't they great?!

Love you all and can't wait to see you SO VERY SOON.
xox.

April 11, 2017

Awkward + Awesome

Awkward:

  • Thinking your avocado has been thrown out, saying lots of fun words in your head, then finding it in the freezer. WTF. Oops.
  • Frozen avocados becoming guacamole, that was a fun time. 
  • Trying to get some sun and in the 45 minutes you were outside getting sunburn instead, #equatorlife. 
  • STILL NOT HAVING THE DRESSER. WHAT. IS. HAPPENING. UGANDA. 
  • Almost getting "skin taxed" into paying more because I'm a mzungu. Jokes on you- I don't need it! 

Awesome:
  • Homemade cookies- TWICE in one week! Insert dancing emojis here! 
  • Successfully mending the hole I ripped in my yoga pants while rock climbing. 
  • COMING HOME THIS WEEK HALLELUJAH. 
  • Mini road trips with friends on my way out of the country! 
  • Getting some quiet time to chat with Momma, always good for my soul. 
  • Road trips to cities I've been wanting to explore and a scheduled FLIGHT HOME that takes off in just a few days! 
  • Friends that are so very willing to join you on these road trips! 
  • Getting to play tag with the kids at the village on my last night in town. 
  • A going away party that I was totally surprised by! 









xox.

April 10, 2017

Alternative

As we drove away from the Lira Miracle Crusade on the bus I couldn't help but be concerned: 

Did we get everyone? 

Did someone do a headcount? 

How do we know we got everyone? 

I can’t help it; it’s the teacher in me. No one was nearly as concerned: they knew everyone would get on the bus. Not because everyone was ready to leave in fact, many of them wanted to stay. But because the kids know. The kids know the alternative. They know that if they don’t get on the bus they are stuck in town without food or a bed that night. They know what sleeping on the streets is like; all of them with firsthand experience. And not a single one wants to repeat that. 


Street Boys Lira, Uganda January 2017

Street Boys Lira, Uganda January 2017

Street Boys Lira, Uganda January 2017

They'll make sure they're on the bus because they are part of SGU's family, and they know the alternative.










xox.


April 8, 2017

What do you want most?

A good while back at the Crusade the Rabbi speaking asked the question: What do you want most tonight?


The answer came to me with a fierceness and tears in my eyes: I want togetherness Jesus. Be close and with me. And isn't that exactly what God wants us to want? He desires to have us draw near and be close more than anything. More than our sin. More than our fears, our hurts, our failures. 




That's such a growth moment. Normally my response would be something like I want tacos and sleep and AC and a pool and my friends and my family and my own space. But I don't need any of those things, though some days it feels like it.
 I need Jesus.
 It's pretty cool when what I want and what I need meet so clearly. 

xox.

April 7, 2017

The Damn M Word

Yes I used damn in the title, sue me. I’ve heard this multiple times from many, many different people since announcing this adventure to Uganda. “Wow so you’re going to be a missionary?” Ugh. I don’t think I have enough words to accurately describe my complete and total disdain for that question. I never know what to say. Yes? No? Maybe? Kind of?  I DON'T KNOW. I’ve answered it with all of those answers- depending on my mood honestly.

I had a moment where I was called out as a missionary by someone here and I literally looked at them and said, “Who me?” We looked at each other with serious confusion. Because here's the thing: I just don’t picture myself as a missionaryI'm just a girl who is following hard after Jesus.

When I picture a missionary I picture someone who has wanted to do this and live in the jungles since they were young, someone probably raised in the Baptist church (sorry but it’s true!), and someone who is a little bit hippy dippy and doesn’t mind living in a hut in Africa.

 Well let’s just have an honest moment shall we? THAT IS SO NOT ME. Sometimes I cuss. I need a taco in the WORST WAY.I love shoes. I’ve been dreaming about chicken buffalo dip and queso. I miss my closet (in the US of course- I don’t have a closet here) and every time I get an email from Target I’m on the verge of tears. So what am I doing?

When Paul talked about going on the mission field and Jesus told us to go make disciples of all nations they literally meant it: GO.  I also think that sometimes going means plugging yourself in to where you are right now. And well right now I happen to be in Uganda. Africa. Not in a hut [thankfully] but right next door.

But does my task look any different than when I was living in the U.S? No. Jesus doesn’t change his mission for us based on our location. Now yes, our day to day may look extremely different but the basics? Yeah that hasn’t changed. We’re called to love Jesus, love people, period. It does not make one iota of difference if I’m doing that in the streets of Orlando or on the red dirt roads of Uganda, it just matters that I’m doing it. We can all think of the people God is calling on us to love: our friends, neighbors, that co-worker that makes you want to rip your hair out, quit and running screaming out of the office. So with that aren’t we all really missionaries? Not that we all live in a hut or spend all our time screaming about Jesus [I’ve had one too many run ins with the preaching loudly into a mic on the street corner, sorry not my jam]. But aren’t we all supposed to love His people? So aren’t we all missionaries?

So I really hate that question, “So you’re a missionary?” I would never describe myself that way even though if we’re being honest we’re all missionaries to this world. If you believe in Jesus and trust in Him it will come out in your relationships, and isn’t that the best way to share your friendship with Jesus? So here’s to swallowing the fact that maybe, possibly, I sorta might be a missionary. It's okay though cause so are you.

 But I still hate that word.








Just some thoughts from your not so average missionary.

xox.


P.S- Sorry Mom about the damn word! ;)


April 5, 2017

On Top of the World

This one time I forgot I don't have skills and when Rachel called and asked if I wanted to hike Ingretta I said yes. 

No worries I only almost fell off the side once. Kidding. Kind of. Okay not really that did happen [see photographic evidence]

I did almost slide down the side of the thing and I have bruises and scraps along my body to prove it BUT the picture is reenacted. Mostly because when I slid it was a need to handle immediately situation, though we still laughed, once I stopped sliding down the side of the mountain. And I learned that though it looks like a cute little hill in pictures it was a serious climb.

I'm from Florida okay? The biggest climb we make is the sand dunes on the way back from the beach.

The view from the top? Totally worth it. And it was significantly cooler with a pretty sweet breeze, which in Uganda is basally the closest you'll get to air conditioning. And I only got a *minor* second degree sunburn because apparently I still don't know I'm pale. Oh the struggles.


Still totally worth it.




video
Halfway up.

From the very topmost point! 
Not pictured: me pretty convinced I'm dead and still trying to take a selfie. Ya know, priorities.


Steven + Rachel. #cuties


Just hanging my feet of the edge of a cliff.

Because Yoga seemed like a good idea.


Hi ridiculously posed photo.


A little more accurate depiction of the struggle.


Success!


Just spending some time at the top.It was seriously higher than it looks.


How I almost fell off part 2.





Just hanging my feet of the edge of a cliff.

xox.