31 December 2011

Mullings and Musings ~ New Year's Eve Edition

  • "Arc of Iraq war told in images" (As this year closes, as the troops return home... seems fitting to reflect on sacrifice, accomplishments, failures... and hopefully, lessons learned. I also thought - it would be quite fitting to add the Iraqi nation and her people to my regular prayer list - as they face a new beginning. May God's name be glorified!)
"The American war in Iraq is over. The last U.S. soldier will be home by Christmas, and for the first time in a decade, no American service member is preparing for deployment in Mesopotamia.

As America leaves the Iraq war, what has the war left America?..."

"Organizations need to see that the impact from the web is larger than the technology itself because it reflects a new worldview. There has been a change in how new generations see the world. In his 1993 book, Post-Capitalist Society, the late Peter Drucker worded it this way:
Technology is accelerating this process of change. For example, do you think social media would have taken off as it has if it were around in the 1950s? Or was there a different view of authority that would have discouraged people from posting their opinion online? Part of the explosion of social media is that it aligns with a postmodern worldview. It is important for organizations to see what is underway as more than just technological; it is about a worldview change that is reshaping industries and organizations. The next generation of digital natives is being made in the image of the web."
'Every few hundred years in Western history, there occurs a sharp transformation . . . within a few short decades, society rearranges itself – its worldview; its basic values; its social and political structure; its arts; its key institutions . . . Fifty years later, there is a new world and the people born then cannot even imagine the world in which their grandparents lived and into which their own parents were born. We are currently living through just such a transformation.'
"To be sure, the threats to Africa's growth are far from over. The eurozone crisis– and its attendant risk of a major recession that will undoubtedly affect Africa – has yet to be resolved. The drought in the Horn was a cruel reminder of how vulnerable the continent is to global climate change.

30 December 2011

5 Minute Friday ~ Open

I remember a few years back, a conversation with a younger friend where I shared that God had been teaching me much about holding those I love with an open hand, trying not to saddle them with the burden of my expectations. I realize now, a few years after the fact, that I'm still just an infant in my understanding of what that brand of bighandedness relationships is all about.

My initial understanding was a comprehension I struggled and fought long and hard against before finally conceding defeat to its truth. I wanted to grab tight ahold of those I loved, wrapping my arms around them, pulling them as close to me as I could and holding on for all I'm worth. Sounds loyal and devoted - but it also sounds suffocating.

I grasp that truth with my mind? Why hasn't it become any easier to put into practice?

Why? I find I still fight long and hard against practically living this truth. I forget and grasp and cling desperately (metaphorically speaking) to my husband, my children, my closest friends with fist tightly clenched...  and I know better. Generousity with time, money and possessions seems so uncomplicated when I compare that to liberal openhandedness with the people who matter most to me.

The funny thing? Often the hardest one to trust when it comes to those I love is the the One Who is most trustworthy. I think that must be where expectations come into play. I have to offer those relationships back to God with an open hand... without expectations for what God might do, how He might lead, in the future... Those precious earthly bonds must be submitted to His sovereignty and divine rule.

So I'm still a sometimes "open-handed-wannabe."

I wonder if someday clothing myself in that type of generosity and openness will ever become a habit?

"Don't look back when you reach the new shore,
Don't forget what you're leaving me for,
Don't forget when you're missing me so,
Love must never hold,
Never hold tight but let go."
(from the song "Send me a song," performed by Celtic Woman)

29 December 2011

Today... hoping to see some monkeys...

...and not just the human big and little kid kind!

Lord willing, today we'll be packing up camp and heading home, with lots of stories and good excitement to share. Stay tuned... and if you think of us, pray for safety as we travel.

27 December 2011

We're Going on Vacation...

Brendan and Leandra have already left... yesterday. They are canoeing to the campsite with a group of friends, including an overnight on an island in the middle of the river. We're praying they don't have any closer than desired or safe encounters with hippos, crocs, elephants, other African "wild"life.

I am excited for them... and a little bit jealous. I'd LOVE to be paddling along on that trip.

We leave soon... so today I'm reposting, an earlier trip Tim took with the four oldest. Enjoy! Expect lots more photos of the whole family this time! We appreciate prayers for safety, protection on the road, uneventfulness and rest, and lots of opportunities to enjoy the amazing creatures and wilderness God has planted in this part of the world.

(photos abpve are ones I've scavenged from friends and their similar excursions)

early morning ~ as the sun rises over the campground
the river

The week between Christmas and New Years, Tim took the four biggers (Brendan, Rebekah, Nadia and Anna) out to the bush for a few nights of camping, climbing around on rocks, tramping through the Sahel looking for wild and dangerous creatures while hoping their guide really knew what he was doing, canoeing, riding through the bush on the top of the Landcruiser - again trying to spot wild and dangerous African creatures, hanging out around a campfire with their buddies and eating the donuts Mom sent with them, freezing in the cool morning air and hoping a scorpion or snake didn't decide to seek out the warmth of their tent through the hole where the door didn't completely close.

They took a ton of pictures - and it will take us a few days to pick out the best ones to post here. I'll upload them all to facebook - so if you are one of our fb friends... you can see the whole kit and kaboodle! Even though some of their stories have horrified their mama, they had a great time - we need to get our own tent brought out here (all of its doors zip tightly shut) and the plan is next... we'll ALL go... and take our niece with us....


26 December 2011

Multitude Monday - 1000 Gifts ~ Very loud... but not so scary until after the fact...

At least that was how Nadia described it...

Last week, she and her daddy were taking a "Christmas" delivery out to the bush churches with whom we work - wooden benches to replace rocks for pews and some stationary supplies to help with their dry season Bible school that will be up and running in a very short time.

I got a phone call later that morning telling me they were just heading back towards Niamey - a little behind schedule because Tim had had to change a flat tire... and to pray because he was already using the only spare he had with him. Thankfully, they arrived home without further incident, and nothing more was said... until I walked out the door and found this...

...sitting next to the carport.

I tracked down my husband to ask him exactly what did happen, because THAT looked a lot worse than a simple flat tire.

So he gave me the scoop he didn't want to tell me while traveling the day before: 
He'd noticed the truck wasn't driving quite right, so had checked the tires several times while making a few stops in town before heading out to the bush. At the edge of the city is a police stop where you pay a road tax before you can continue on your way, so just after clearing that stop, and as he was slowly starting to speed up, Tim asked Nadia to pray for safety as they traveled. She did.

It was just a short time later that the tire blew, as they were rounding a long, slow curve.

When I asked Nadia later about the experience, she said that there was a loud pop and the truck jerked really hard and then did the thumping like when a tire goes flat. She said it was a little scary, but she was more afraid waiting while her daddy changed the tire by the side of the road where people were driving by so very fast.

However, afterwards, as she thought about what had happened... and remembered the stories of what really had happened to others whose tire blew... she got really scared - and then really thankful:
  1. that her daddy made her wear her seatbelt and had asked her to pray for safety;
  2. that she obeyed immediately and prayed when he asked her
  3. that God heard her prayer
  4. and that this time, He kept them completely safe and helped her not to be afraid at the time, even though He didn't have to do so.

this week's gratitude list:
(#s 1778 - 1798)


answered prayer

my girl seeing her prayer answered so directly and so immediately

my girl recognizing that safety in their particular circumstance was a gift, a grace and an answer to prayer

girls that like to keep their daddy company

little one healing from pneumonia

continued healing of Jonathan's eye, even though we continue to find out the injury was more serious than we ever dreamed

hot steamy showers for croupy girls

downloaded Dora movies to entertain those croupy girls as they try to rest and let their bodies heal

Christmas brunch with family and friends

cousins enjoying the experience of a lifetime together... canoeing down a real and wild African river, at this very moment!

nights so lovely and cool we don't even need to run the fan

enthusiastic children at the Sunday School Christmas program

our pastor's wife - who was not only helping lead the Sunday School Christmas program, but was also simultaneously playing midwife to a first-time mama sheep... our children saw the actual birth and they named the little lamb "Noël."

vacation days

packing for a camping trip

Drink mix packets and ranch dressing packets delivered to our front door

afternoon naps

family photos

64th birthdays - even when we can't be there to party with the birthday "girl"


25 December 2011

Trying for the "Perfect" Family Photo on Christmas Day

Getting everyone to actually look at the camera?


But littlest guy knows just how to keep his mama smiling
(and he was happy we let him take his permanent-these-days-shades off for the photo!)

Lookin' like a bunch of monkeys!

My favorite of Bren!
He looks like a fox caught in the hen house...
and I still have no idea why he looks so - guilty!

Our Anna - she's got to be,
without question,
the sweetest and most mischevious one of the bunch!

She's been taking silliness lessons from Rebekah.

M&M adores her cuz... but she also loves teasing Andi by playing "hard to get!"

the under 21 crew

Those under-age ones are STILL hangin' around!

Close... but still too many looking off in wrong directions...

We finally settled on this one... and just like last year, Jon's really the only too-goofy one!
That's fitting!

While it doesn't qualify as miraculous - getting 10 to all look at the camera, smile...
recognizing that at least one of those 10 REFUSES to smile...
and that half of those 10 are 11 and under...???

Well, that does make us thankful for the as-close-to-decent-photos
we actually manage to snap!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth
 and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
~ Isaiah 9:6-7 ~

Saying many prayers for a Christ-focused, family and friend-filled Christmas!Merry Christmas from our corner of the world to yours...

Tim, Richelle,
Brendan, Rebekah Joy, Nadia, Anna
Victoria, Jonathan, Elsie Mae & Mary Michelle


Related Posts with Thumbnails