Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this : to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27

Monday, February 13, 2012

New Year. New Resolutions.

New year. New resolutions.  

But realistically, those never really last.  Being inspired by a friend who faithfully blogged every Monday during his time in Uganda, I made the resolution that I would do the same and set a night.  Obviously I have failed at that because this is my first post since the new year started.  Maybe I can aim for once a month?

Something that I am continually reminded of is that life is life anywhere.  No matter where you are or how adventuresome your life seems from the outside, as humans we always find a norm.  Normal life in Africa might be packaged in a different color and have different daily dramas (like no power for day #9 and no concrete signs of it returning any time soon), but I still have found a “normal life” routine here in Uganda.  Actually I am really grateful for that.  I am grateful for the reminder that my greatest desire is for the Lord and He is everywhere that I am and that my needs are met because He is my provider.  I am grateful for friends from all over the world and “new normals” like sleeping under a mosquito net every night.  

I am also continually grateful that the Lord has chosen to use me, despite myself, to love the children of Lulwanda Children’s Home.   I am grateful that He has carried me through difficult times and humbled me when I start thinking (and acting) too highly of myself.  I am grateful for lessons re-learned in deeper ways and that it is the Lord’s kindness that leads me to repentance.

So, 2012 has started with a refreshing glimpse of some of my weaknesses: that my loving Father might break me down of myself that I can be more like Him.  The year has started with physical discomfort of serious heat and sketchy power to remind me that I have the choice of how I will respond in all situations.  And 2012 has started with the departure of many fun friends whose time in Uganda has come to an end to keep me close to Him as the only promised constant in my life.

I am reading the book, Humility by Andrew Murray.  It is definitely humbling.  I am far from being like Jesus.  I am grateful for the Holy Spirit who convicts me of my pride and self-centeredness but also reminds me that there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ.  Please pray with me that I would daily count others as better than myself, not jump to conclusions or assumptions based on my opinions, and that I would seek to be a servant rather than seeking how to be served.  Pray that my words would be seasoned with encouragement and my actions would be ones of unconditional love.  Less of me and more of you, Jesus.  But better yet, none of me and all of you Jesus.

In the midst of being challenged and changed there are also many fun moments I have had since my last post.  There are about 1000 photos I would love to add but here are a few of my favorites:

 The Christmas story re-enactment at LCH
My Ugandan family

Natalie's Bunco Birthday Bash!
 For my 29th birthday I invited my closest friends to join me for a very fun night of playing Bunco.  This birthday was one of my favorites because I was able to have both my Ugandan and Mzungu friends together.
 My sweet kids.
This has been our group for the past few months.  Every Tuesday is game night, likely with a heated game of Settlers of Catan.  Sadly, two of these three lovely gentlemen have already returned to their country and the third one has about 2 weeks until he also departs.  Sam, Paul, and Dan- thank you for such a fun season of friendship.  You are (and will be) missed
Teacha Natalie and her kids.