Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Africa Came To Me!

This past week has without a doubt been the highlight of the last two years of my life. I was honored and totally crazy excited to host the Young Africans at my home church. This group of young people were a part of the African Children's Choir about 10 years ago. Since returning home to Uganda and Kenya, they have been going to school (through the sponsorship of awesome people in the West). They just completed secondary school and are about to begin college and fulfill the dreams God has placed in their hearts. This is the first time Music For Life has brought back a group of kids to show what happens as they grow up in the MFL program after touring as children. It was so exciting to see how God has worked in their lives and the hopes and dreams they have had that are becoming a reality!

My Ugandan manager and friend, Abraham, is tour leader for this group and it was so fun to see him again. Having Abraham and the Young Africans here was better than I ever imagined. I cried when they left. Not so much out of sadness, but the emotion of the whole experience-the joy, the thankfulness, the touching of the deepest recesses of my heart. I came alive again. My eyes sparkled, and I was reminded how much Africa and her people have captured my heart. I need to be involved. I don't know how God will allow me to be a part of the ACC family in the future, but this week re-ignited the flame and my passion came back.

Planking in our youth room!!!

My heart is overwhelmed with joy to see the response of my church family to the choir. The advertising paid off and the community turned out to pack the FBC auditorium. I was thrilled! All the host families were deeply touched and I have gotten reports from people whose lives are forever changed. So many people were able to share first hand this week in something that is so important to me and shaped so much of who I am. I just can't wipe the smile off my face :)

There is a bit of a let down now that they are gone. Even though I know I need to rest, I miss their presence, and I miss the person that I am around them. Lord, help me be inspired and excited each day as I live and serve you, no matter where I am or who I'm with.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fear Conquering

We all have our fears...

some more than others.

I would never have considered myself a fearful person...until this year. Between my health problems, nervous system issues, several traumatic experiences, and an insecure crumbling world I have found myself plagued with many fears. Some logical and some not so much. I don't enjoy fear.at.all. My biggest fear is that I will never get rid of this fear. I know I can't be alone in this battle against fear. People don't talk about it much but I know it's there.

I know I can't just will the fear away, so I meditate on scriptures that talk about God not giving us a Spirit of fear. I tell myself, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." I take baby steps to overcome the fear.

This weekend was a big weekend of fear conquering for me. It might not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but I am feeling empowered.

First I drove a 4-wheeler!!! I haven't tried to drive one since I nearly flipped one and died in New Zealand in 2004. It was so much fun :)

Then, I gathered my courage and jumped on a zip line (dang-the picture is a little blurry). It wasn't a big one, but it made my heart beat fast!

The weekend was full of other small steps toward becoming more independent again and gaining freedom from my fear. Thank you Jesus for your help! I feel more free and excited about life again every day.
So what are you afraid of? What can you do today to help conquer that fear? Whatever it is, know that you are not alone.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Sparkle is Back...

2012......A New Year, new ideas, new opportunities, new hopes, dreams, and goals. 2011 was a rough year for me, full of physical and mental struggles, yet beautiful because of the work I know God did on me. I've been hammered and chiseled, and though I'm not even close to finished yet, I am new. My outlook on life is different. I believe God is at work in a big way all around me and in me and I look forward with great expectation and hope to this coming year. It's been reported that the sparkle is back in my eye. My passions and dreams took a backseat while I underwent some construction, but I'm happy to see them re-surfacing as I get healthy again. I plan to start blogging again more often to keep you-the lovely blogging world-updated on my crazy, beautiful, challenging, gluten free, egg free, sugar free, yet ever so delicious life! Thanks to those who have prayed with me and stuck with me through this hard season of my life. Here's to 2012!

*I'm looking forward to spending more time with my beautiful sister this year!*