Sometimes the most significant moments are the ones we overlook.
It all boils down to this very moment. The sweat. The grind. They end here. For this purpose we carry out our daily marching orders. Like the fine mechanisms of a clock our gears turn in perfect harmony…
The shadows seem to dance around the fire. Perfect little faces stare in my direction, barely outlined by the orange glow emanating from the small fire. My son Caleb pours river sand on my lap, seeking my attention but his attempt is feeble. My heart is preoccupied capturing this moment to create a perfect memory; a memory I hope to retain for all eternity.
My pioneer heart is jealous for this village that pledged their lives to Islam
Human language cannot articulate or express the way I feel when I watch this video. The fire that burns deep within me wants to channel my inner James and John and ask Jesus to literally reign down fire… and consume… but the Spirit of God gently reminds me that He died for the men that are passionately preaching their set of beliefs to this rural village in Malawi. However, the depths of my heart cry out with the Spirit of God in protest to the Thief that comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy through this belief system we label Islam, but that’s why we have the pioneers…
Re-telling a story about one of the most beautiful women I met in the village in 2009 that touched my heart and I still think of her to this day…
So, I’m homeschooling. It’s not my first choice as far as educating my children goes (purely because I’m not a formally trained educator)… but it suits our lifestyle best considering all of the recent transitions. If we were still living on the base in Zambia I’d be homeschooling. There’s a very good chance that I will be homeschooling when we move back to Africa on a more permanent basis too. In certain instances good international schools can be found when overseas, but one generally has to be located near a big city. In our line of work, re-locating near a big city is quite the stretch because our focus is on rural communities, i.e., the wild bush where jackals and gazelles roam. I love the village. Sigh and pause for effect.
My personal reflection on The Killing Fields and why I’m so grateful that the Good News has come to this land.
I stand here in silence. The smell of incense wafts through the air as the wind blows tenderly across my face. I peer left to see the red stick of Asia gently burning; releasing its smoke into the world at large. Faces of helpless victims pierce my very soul as I force my eyes to gaze upon the memorial that holds the skulls of thousands. The Killing Fields…
A reminder to be thankful and to step outside of the box no matter the cost… to exchange the ordinary for the extraordinary.
Recently I sent my 30 day gratitude challenge to a most amazing and highly respected friend; a woman who truly taught me how to LOVE the Word of God. She quickly responded with an enthusiastic thank you and followed up with an excellent question… and I’m so happy she did. She asked, “Do you find yourself being thankful for the same things over and over?” My response, “YES!” At first I didn’t struggle wth continuously thanking God for the same things over and over. But now that I write a blog, the repetition presents a bit of a problem and I consciously fight feeling annoyed by it. You see God doesn’t care if I thank Him for the same things over and over again… but I’m pretty sure my readers would find me a bit annoying if I wrote every day or every week about how grateful I am for the same topic. Thankfully today I think I’ve got something new to be thankful for. I am thankful for people that have stepped outside of the box. People that have exchanged the cultural norm for something extraordinary in pursuit of the unknown and the unpredictable. I’m thankful for those that have gone before me and done these things. I can follow in their footsteps. They are the many examples that aid in increasing my faith to position myself and my family for our current adventures.
Is your standard of beauty derived from Hollywood? The media?
We travel. That’s our lives. It’s our job. We love it. Sometimes there are sacrifices involved and it isn’t the life of luxury that you might think it is. We don’t sit in first class or even business class, yet. One day we will. We aren’t members of an airline that gives us the perks of a lounge, yet. One day we will be. In our travels we see. We see places, people, and sites. But mostly we see people. Lots and lots of people. People of many nations. We see the rich, the poor, the middle class. We see funny people, happy people, sad people, angry people, quirky people, pretty people, and ugly people. Yes, I said ugly. Are you offended? You have a standard of beauty and so do I. Let’s not pretend like you have never looked at someone and thought, “They aren’t very pretty.” Do you feel guilty for doing so? I’m not sure the answer to this question is entirely black and white. Or does the answer to this question even matter? Beauty is relative, therefore ugly is relative. Yet, Hollywood’s standard of beauty is the standard for hundreds of millions of people around the globe. We are inundated with Hollywood “news” on a regular basis in the western world. Perhaps we have been brainwashed? I pose a question to you: is your standard of beauty influenced mostly by Hollywood? Mine is, but not for long because I’m seeking to change that and here’s why.
Why I am grateful that I get to travel with my kids and 5 practical travel tips
Five, 10 hour days in the car with a three-year-old and a five-year-old. My kids did better than I did. I was claustrophobic to say the least. In fact, it was pure torture for me because I was crazy bored. However, this entry is not really about me (dang it, I know you wanted it to be), it’s about how to travel extended periods of time with young kids. How did I manage? I’m like the most awesome parent ever and I like organized a million activities and crafts. Like duh! I went on Pinterest and pinned a bunch of ideas and then executed them perfectly, aka #nailed it.
As a family of four we are backpacking SE Asia
Ciaran, myself, and the kids are gearing up for a 3-month backpacking trip to Southeast Asia with a strong emphasis on Thailand and packing is on my mind. We are literally backpacking as a family with two small children. I honestly have no idea what this looks like but I do know that many people have gone before us to pave the way. So how are we going to pack? Lightly. You cannot pack “heavy” under any circumstances. Well, I suppose you could but that would be a huge pain in the neck. Carrying an extensive amount of kit as a family of four involving two small children would, for lack of a better metaphor, stink like poop.
Ciaran and Jamie with Overland Missions.
(Scroll down and click the link provided to watch the video, oh and busy fixing Ciaran’s name that is mis-spelled)
We hope you are having a good Monday! Our wonderful and amazingly talented friend Danny Hall put together a few AWESOME videos for us featuring what we are doing in the nations with Overland Missions. Check out the link below to watch one of them! We are grateful for you Danny. Thanks for putting the series of videos together for us, you really did such an incredible job. We know you are really busy, so the fact that you set time apart to do this for us is so humbling.
Thoughts and helpful tips on South African culture
South Africa. I have an array of memories seeded throughout its soil. My husband is from there. I’ve birthed babies there. I endured the worst trauma of my life there, the dreaded car accident of 2012 where we rolled our car five times near the border of Botswana. I’ve laughed until my belly hurt there. I’ve sown tears of joy and of sadness. I’ve sown faith and I’ve uprooted fear. And despite the fact that we’ve never owned a home there, I still consider it one of my homelands.
So consider this entry a tribute and therefore a cultural and totally opinion-based guide to South Africa by allowing me to embellish on its rich culture, its beautiful landscape, yummy food, and more. Zulu. Xhosa. Afrikaans. English. And Bev, my beautiful, Indian friend from Durban. This, my friends, is South Africa. Rugby anyone?