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.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year

We find ourselves not counting the milestones of our little one's life, but counting the anniversaries of special days that we wished we had shared with him.  The number of these days continues to climb.  We got this picture New Year's Eve 2013.

We were instantly in love. We had no idea two years later we would be sitting in our home on New Year's Eve without him.  But here we are.  Last year I said 2015 was going to be a good year and I that I had faith he would be home with us.  I will not make the same proclamation for 2016. It will be a good year (We have lots of things to be grateful for) but I won't say that I have faith Moses will be home this year... I have learned the hard way that God doesn't always give us what we want when we want it.  Sometimes there is so much to learn in the waiting.  I'm learning a lot about lament lately, knowing that I can still cry out to God in the waiting.  Listened to a sermon on Sunday, the pastor spoke on "living in lament",  I realized I had gone silent...feeling like my prayers didn't matter to Him anymore.  Apparently it takes faith to pray in the midst of pain.  "Lament is better than silent despair." He said.  This is what I felt...silent despair.  God may not answer me in the way I want this year, but I won't be silent.  I will continue to cry out "How long oh Lord? How long, how long, how long..."

Journal Entry November 2015
I went up to the roof to see the sun rise over San Francisco...I went to listen for God. I heard the caw of the seagull and the slow drumming of tires on pavement. I heard one lonely basketball bouncing on a court below. I watched the clouds move over the city like a remnant of a smoldering fire... And slowly the world was light. And I was small on this rooftop and God was big and majestic. The lights dimmed in the windows and on the big steel red bridge and I was quiet...waiting. But the world grew louder and busier still as the sun made her grand entrance. The birds gathered in frenzy on the wire and the street cars whirred on their wires and everyone came to life and started in with the busy.  But I see the pink settle into the clouds and I want it all to stop. So I can sit here with Him forever. Listening to His voice. The clouds roll away and the sky is clean and new and fresh and ready. But I am not. Not ready to start another day, because each day brings with it the waiting. Waiting for answers, waiting for His voice, waiting for my son. And I ask God to stop the world from turning so I won't miss my days with him, but I know I ask too much.  So I wait, and ask again for what I know He will give me right now; The strength to meet the new day, with a desire to live in the waiting, knowing He will wait with me.   

I and will choose this year to find find find the words to cry out to God when it hurts.  To live in lament.