My mother has been bothering me for years to write a blog. Every year I have the same answer… “What would I have to say that people would want to read?” I tell her when I have an answer for that question, I will write a blog. I seriously don’t know how people have time to write them. I don’t even have time to take a shower. Literally. It’s a problem. I don’t know how all these women out there write blogs. Not only are they writing blogs, they are writing blogs about all the crafts and food they make. How are they finding time for that? And most of them have more than one child. I only have one, and I need a shower, badly.
Now, I have something to write about. It’s been a long time coming and I stay up at nights thinking about it. I have been waiting for the perfect time, and I realized, there is no perfect time. I have to stop wasting time and do it …now. Four years ago, I went to Africa. Four years ago I made promises to people there that I would not forget them, that I would tell their stories. Four years ago. What have I done in four years?
My mom thought of the title “Before and Africa” and I actually love it. There are a lot of things my mom and I agree on, but usually when she has an idea “for” me, I politely turn her down. But this title struck a chord in me. I thought about all the blogs out there about style and fashion and craftiness and I thought about how my blog would probably be the antithesis of that. Maybe I do always buy the same long sleeved shirts at the GAP every three years when the old ones get holes in them. Maybe I do still have the same tennis shoes I bought for 30 bucks 6 years ago. Maybe I do only get my hair cut once a year. Maybe I am in desperate need of a style makeover, but I think this blog is more of a before and after of my soul. My soul before and now my soul (after) Africa…
So thanks mom, for the title and for recognizing there has been a change in me and that even though I have a hard time finding the words, it’s time to start trying.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

H2Ooooooo yeah

The last month has been a blur of activity and answered prayers.  We have been praying so long for this adoption, and sometimes it feels like we are only at the bottom of the mountain with all our gear on, staring up at the unattainable peak....wondering if we have it in us to make it to the top.

For two years we have been praying for our house in Michigan to sell so we can focus on saving for the adoption.  We took a risk and put an offer in on a house here in Indy (after lots of prayer) and two days later we got an offer on our house in Michigan. ANSWER.

We have to be out of our rental house this Saturday and won't close on our new house until January 4.  So, basically we are without a home for Christmas.  I was so excited for Christmas morning, Max waking up in his jammies, coming out and seeing his (garage sale) remote control Thomas train set under the tree.  I started to get a little teary one day after packing all day and stressing about where we were going to live for three weeks, when Tony kindly reminded me that some kids don't have homes (or parents) at Christmas.  ANSWER.

It's amazing to me that I can KNOW the love of a God that cares so much for the orphans and the lost in this world and I can complain about my BLESSINGS.  I was literally complaining about the fact that God had answered our prayers...since it was inconveniencing me for three weeks. We are moving to a house with a mortgage that will make it possible for us to SAVE every month.  Everyday we will be getting closer and closer to the fourth member of our family. Climbing that step at a time.

So this Christmas, instead of having a home or a Christmas tree I am going to have a heart overflowing with gratefulness.

I was reminded of just how insignificant my situation was this morning when I received an e-mail from Pastor Amos, again thanking us all for our donations for their school.  Then he pretty much gave me a gift that might even be better than seeing a sleepy Max see his trains for the first time...the school has been hooked up to water.  Fresh clean water for all the kids. Something that will last a lot longer than some plastic trains that will go back on a garage sale someday when Max is bored with them.

So the next time I am complaining about anything,  you are free to point me back to 2012, when we built a school together, God found a buyer for our house, my son learned to walk and talk, we had food to eat and a roof over our heads, oh yeah and our school has water!

Instead of a Christmas card this year I will share with you these photos of Pastor Amos and the school...thanks again for helping to making this happen.  Merry Christmas.

Clean water!!!

the kiddos

water to the toilets!

We got pens!