on forgetting

ready for the usual 5 minutes of unedited, raw writing that happens on fridays? well, here goes…

On Forgetting…

Here I am staring at this prompt and my head is threading its way through all the connections.  I wonder if I should share about the ways that I don’t like to forget about birthdays or moments or likes/dislikes. Then I think that maybe I should talk about how I so easily forget visual details and remember instead in feelings and words.  I have to literally sit and force myself to think really hard to come up with mind pictures.  Words come easily, but the pictures escape like bubbles on the wind.

Mostly, though, when I hear “on forgetting,” I am drawn to my own story.  Recently, I spent time sharing parts of my story that I never hardly ever share.  I just push them aside to sit in the corner jumbled—“forgotten.”  I live in this tangled mess of my story that seems like when I pull out one thread a whole host of others come tumbling out.  Partly because I forget to acknowledge my own part in my own story.  I don’t notice, value, or acknowledge myself within the circumstances.  Mostly, though, I intentionally leave myself out of the equation because I refuse  don’t want to play victim even if I was.  Not to mention, that even now, while hindsight is 20/20 mostly I see blurred lines between truth and lies.  So, for the longest time, I’ve just said, “I’m overwhelmed and don’t know what to do with you. Life doesn’t stop for me to figure you out so stay there.”

But, God has a way of saying…I value you. I value your story even the messy parts that not everyone will understand, that you don’t even understand.  So, in between the lines of not even knowing the truth within my own story.  He’s drawing me out to begin to speak.  To give breath to where I’ve felt suffocated.  To take what’s been shoved under the rug by myself and by others and bring it into the light. To remember…with new eyes rather than try to “forget.”  Even if it scares me silly.


your turn =) on forgetting. (or remembering if you happen to make the connection like i do!)

piling on the stones

i love the pictures painted in the old testament when the people make piles of stones to remind them of god’s faithfulness and what He’s done. because sometimes it’s easy to forget…easy to get lost in the pain of the present, to drown in the hard and when i see that visual then it becomes a little easier to remember, to hold on a little longer.

today, i’m throwing a stone on the pile.

a stone that reminds me why i’m still here and helps me see the big picture.

and this one…i’m holding close to my heart. pondering it there. keeping secrets between God and I because it’s ours for now until He says to share. knowing full well that although today was a crossroads on a journey…good will come from the way i picked. even though i just took the first baby step, sometimes that’s the hardest.

oh how i wish i could take you there and show you the sweet sweet moment of sitting in His faithfulness. someday the words will come to paint the flourishes of birds dancing in the water and the ways He spoke to my heart.  and even in the midst, i ever so graciously felt a glimpse of how redemption comes full circle as i was entrusted parts of another story.  a gentle reminder that each part of my story in all it’s glorious messy will become beautiful in its time and used for His glory.

have you thrown on any stones lately? 

my background music:

As Long as It Takes by Dorothy Savage

Hold Me by Jamie Grace

Waiting Here for You by Christy Nockels

but mostly….this one…

Come Home Beautiful by Seth Primm

she’s a hopeful desire

she’s awaiting redemption and love

and to be made free

she is beautiful

but she has never known

a love that will never leave

someone to help her see

that she is beautiful

she’s redeemed; she is loved

she’s the bride of the King

she’s adopted, but she’s forgotten

the call of grace she’s received

He finds her beautiful

and He peeled off orphan clothes

and wrapped her in simple hope

15 Minute Sunday (I enjoy…)

I’m taking on my own little variation of the 5 minute Friday…why? Because I enjoy it. I do. I’m pretty sure it’s something that I do enjoy so I’m going with it and carving out this little time to do this.  And why only 15 minutes? Because I’m still on a lovely borrowed computer until mine comes back from the Apple store….hopefully in 5-7 days I will have my computer back with new cords and new casing and all my important files and africa pictures are backed up just in case (yay!).  In fact, until I get my computer back you’ll probably hear a lot less from me or you’ll get these lovely mini prompts. So join in and play along if you’d like.

Okay, here goes. 15 minutes on….

I enjoy…

I didn’t really have an answer to this question earlier when asked what I actually enjoy in life and since I’m pretty sure it’s kind of important and I’m pretty sure that “abundant life” Jesus talks about includes enjoying life…I figured why not spend some time intentionally listing and thinking on it…so here goes.

Moments that I can breathe deep without the heavy weight bearing on my sometimes too logical head.  Driving into the sunset without a destination in mind and taking roads that I don’t always know where I’ll end up..really biking/running/rollerblading anywhere that I can get “lost.”  Seeing God–counting gifts and blessings from God so that I can see Him even in the little things like finding White Chocolate Magnum ice cream bars (they had Magnum bars in South Africa and I absolutely love white chocolate).  Making and baking food…chocolate covered strawberries, banana bread, brownies, anything with white chocolate.  Running—but NOT on a schedule.  Finding cute big earrings, happy wedges that make me tall, bright colors, lovely things on Pinterest, and finding fun things to share. Reading a book that I can’t put down.  Getting lost in the whir of the pottery wheel.  Digging deep into scripture passages. Writing. Putting words to my heart and sharing what I find.  Worship music. I could have music play 24/7 and I’d be a happy girl.  Playing, laughing, and just hanging out with kiddos.  Being able to stop and be totally in the moment with what has so engaged their world. I totally enjoy seeing people express themselves and being fully present to hear it.

There’s a start…I don’t really like being put in a box and enjoy 😉 flexibility in changing the things I enjoy so that’s my list for now.

And so in this hard season of learning to sit. rest. wait. be faithful. embrace the place I’m in right now. not move until He says. be.

I know that I know that I know that He’s good and that He has me here for a purpose. To stop doing what He’s called me to do would be being disobedient. And I so don’t want to be like the Israelites or Jonah.

So, yeah, I’m not doing all that good at being intentional about enjoying life or grabbing whatever peace I can or rejoicing in it. I’m just not {yet}. BUT. I’m learning and I’m going to keep learning.  Even with tear stained cheeks, I’d rather say, “I trust you, God.  Even when I don’t understand and I can’t see You in it and when it feels like You abandoned me and didn’t protect me. I still trust You.”


Your turn! What do you enjoy?

5 minutes…

when seasons change.

i’m ragged. i’m here typing on a computer that feels so foreign because my computer. the one with the cute yellow tape. with the people of the second chance sticker. with the pictures of my babies in africa all over it. the one that was with me in africa. with a reminder on my background that God is a God of hope. the computer with ALL my writing. my heart thoughts. my ponderings. my journaling. my heart spread out in words.

that computer. died.

and i feel like this week has been so much. i’m at the end of the rope and letting go to just fall into His arms…so very broken.

a week of heart aching for all the orphans and for my beloved africa. a week of seeing what it means to live on $1.50 a day.

a week where i let open a crack knowing that come monday the floodgates open wide. where i pray i’ll actually speak words amidst the tears.

i’m bracing my heart for that.

i know it will be good. eventually.

all this dying.

He even says we have to die to truly find life….

and because after so much…i can only hope for a new season.


do you need a change in seasons? what season are you living in right now?

ht: gypsy mama‘s 5 minute fridays =)

a crack

i feel like i let open a little crack and

now i’m just waiting for the floodgates

to open up and overwhelm me

a crack in the door that leads to

finding words to the parts

of my story

that i don’t share

with anyone

those parts of the story

that scare me

that i don’t want to even


let alone feel

yet they are the parts

that leave the gaping open wounds

still on my battered and bruised body

with these wounds

i don’t want your words

i don’t want you to shove me under the rug

i don’t want you to suffocate me by silencing my words

or parade me as a spectacle

or put me on display like the adulterous woman

i want you to sit with me

cry with me

grieve with me

carry me to Jesus

and care just a little

when rape becomes a face instead of a statistic

“But once the issue has a name and a face, it changes everything, doesn’t it? God knows each of those names. God knows each of those faces. And it breaks His heart.” -Primal by Mark Batterson

(Here’s another story from my heart that shows why I’m still participating in this challenge to live on $1.50 a day…it’s an edited repost from December 2009)

I didn’t know what I was getting into that day.  I seem to forget that heart-wrenching stories come in the seemingly quiet parts of the day.

I stepped out of the vehicle with a vague mission of playing, hanging out, and just being with the kids at the park.  Except, today, the park felt separated and empty.  I found a little girl playing near the slide.  Unlike most kids, she shied away from me.  I didn’t force the conversation or even try to make her laugh.  We just were.

She led me over toward the rickety dinosaur slide.  A jungle gym type structure that proved the perfect spot to gather around.  Legs dangling in the air and the brave ones doing flips off the sides.

And it was there that I put a face to the issue.

I found myself no longer with just one little girl, but instead surrounded by a group of boys.  They chattered away with questions like: Do you know Chris Brown? Do you have a boyfriend?

I laughed and engaged them right back.  We landed on the topic of passions and what type of jobs they wanted.  One wanted to be police man.  Another was adamant about being a doctor so that he could help people.  One piped in that he wanted to be a teacher.

These kids saw the realities of their community.  They understood how crime, HIV/AIDs, and a need for education could positively change their nation.  They had hope.  They saw a future.

But in the midst, the conversation turned…

The words blur in my memory, but the faces stay.  I saw the twisted look of “this is just life here.”  Shame, hurt, and brokenness emerging from the pieces.  As I pieced together the bits of the story, my heart dropped.  They were trusting me with their story.  Their reality.  Of how ten year old boys are raped.  Of how the boy sitting in front of me was raped.  Of how he wasn’t the first or the last.  Of how the police knew and the person was in jail…for now, but the boys told me that he would be out before long.

I felt God’s heart break alongside mine for everyone involved in the story.  The boys. The man in jail.  Their families.  The pieces of the story that I didn’t hear but that led to such brokenness and hurt.

No longer could I hold onto a statistic or a number. I had a face. I had a name. I had a hug.

Sure, I could try to swoop in and “save” the day, but that’s not the solution. No. I want to empower for change. These amazing kids have dreams and hopes for a better future that can become a reality.

They see the problems and they see how they can bring about a transformed nation.  They can live out the abundant life Jesus offers.  And that. That gives me hope and passion to join alongside them in their stories.

These are the stories that remind me life is messy.  Sorting out root issues and seeing how we all need healing.  This is where the hard love comes into play.  The hard love of loving all people and loving enough to walk through the process.  To say “I believe in you” both to the boys and to the man.  Showing them that God loves no matter what.

When we are weak, He is strong.

little girls. a story from south africa.


Two little girls.

Adorable, wobbly walking age

loving and sharing life together

the perfect type of friends

who even share food

without a worry on their face

not knowing that the next day

one of their mothers would pass away.


I met these little girls during my time in South Africa. {i still miss it every.single.day.}  I only got to spend a few days getting to know them and their family.  We all sat outside in rickety chairs and enjoyed the sunshine hitting the dirt with patches of grass.  Conversation flowed.  Life was shared.

In the midst, we found out that one of the little girls’ mother was sick.  The very next day, they shared that she had passed away and left her baby girl without a mama in this world.

Except, the little one kept going on about life.  Not fully comprehending the reality of how much her life would change and what it would mean to be motherless.

I don’t know the details or the facts behind this specific story, but I have seen the funeral tents lining the streets.  I have seen the orphans.  I have seen the affects of extreme poverty firsthand.  These girls and the countless others that I have never met are why I took this challenge to live on $1.50 a day.  They are the reason why I can’t help but speak up and act in the ways that God has called me to act.

In the area where I lived, among the Basotho people of South Africa….

One in four people are infected with HIV

88% of the people are unemployed

69% of the youth do not graduate high school

But in the midst of all the darkness, that’s where I see Jesus shining light.  Showing hope and truth.  Through Ignite South Africa, I see God moving through the people in the area where these little girls live.  I see pastor’s getting excited about bible classes (90% have no formal training).  I see the youth stepping up to change their schools. God is at work in the people there and we too can join in the fight and support those across the ocean.  We don’t have to sit quietly while others act.  We can spread awareness, give, pray, go.

Besides even when all seems dark and overwhelming when seeing the faces of those who wrestle with extreme poverty, HIV/AIDs, and other seemingly insurmountable obstacles..remember God specializes in turning hopelessness and powerlessness into victory and overcoming.

He is a God of hope.

Ask Him today what He wants you to do to help bring hope to the 1.4 billion living in extreme poverty.

5 days. $1.50 a day.

One of my strengths is Input, which basically means I love love love gathering all sorts of information.  Plus, another one is Learner.  Not to mention that I like teaching and sharing….so, I stumble upon things and like to share what I’ve found.  Here’s where my wanderings started…

A challenge from “Live Below the Line” to spend only $1.50 a day on eating and drinking from May 16th to 20th.  All to raise awareness about extreme poverty.  The crazy thing is that this isn’t even really that extreme. Get this:

In 2005, the World Bank defined “extreme poverty” as having to survive on US$1.25 per day (adjusted to US$1.50 to account for inflation in 2011). This amount must cover all food, housing, health, education, and transportation expenses. Those living in extreme poverty are forced to do without many of the things we in the developed world consider “basics” – like clean water access. Right now, there are 1.4 billion people worldwide living in extreme poverty.

Now that makes my eyes go wide! I’m only trying to do $1.50 for food alone.  Doesn’t count in housing, gas, car payments, insurance, health care, etc.  Here’s a picture of what I’ll be eating…and no I don’t get to eat it all.  Check out my facebook or twitter for updates on what I’ll be eating each day and come back to check out the blog as I continue writing out my thoughts! Oh and you can totally join in for a day or two or all 5! I’d love if you jumped on board too 🙂

So, tomorrow, I start to get a small glimpse into 1.4 billion people’s daily life.

While I was looking up information about this, I started thinking about how far women have to walk to get water.  During my time in South Africa, I saw a little bit of this and will share some stories throughout the week.  In the meantime, here are a few resources and stats to get you thinking about clean water that I have found so far…

Every 20 seconds a child dies from a water related disease.

Nearly 1 billion people don’t have safe water to drink.

Many women and children walk up to 3 hours a day to get water.

The Water Project and Water.org and Charity Water

deep breath…of hope


I breathe her in and start with just a little taste.  She seems familiar, but it’s been so long since I’ve tasted her goodness. I thought I didn’t want her hanging around, but then I slowly started letting her come back to play.  Once I started boldly and consistently confessing trust, there she was.  She showed up with her bright sun rays and dancing laughter.  She wanted me to come dream with her.    

Now, with trust, I’m un-digging my heels and stopping my tantrum to learn even more about trusting fully, but hope? That just seems a bit…risky.

Except the funny thing about hope is that she sneaks up on you.  You start trusting God with those heart desires and next thing you know hope has blossomed.  Deserts into Eden.  A beauty in the waiting with hope and anticipation.  A face set on His best no matter what it looks like.  So, I breathe her in deep even though it’s not what I intended.  A deep breath of resting and enjoying…the Gardener who is making my deserts oh so beautiful. 

Come play along with the 5 minutes of free writing on “Deep Breath.”

What are you breathing deeply lately? What are you hopeful for?

i want my knife back…

A few weeks ago, I heard a sermon from Bethel Church that shared testimonies about God restoring things in the physical sense.  One of the testimonies shared how a college student lost a paper when his computer died and it “showed” up on the brand new computer.  Another was where they coined the phrase “I want my knife back…” literally was where a knife with significance was returned to the owner.  My response to the stories: Awesome! Such faith and belief that God cares about the little things too.  But, I didn’t really think I’d find myself in a “I want my knife back…” situation any time soon….

Before the triathlon, I had on my Lerato long sleeve shirt because well let’s be honest, I like to wear a bit of Africa on my sleeve more often than not especially on days I’m a little thin around the edges.  Except the swim was first, so I took it off and left it in the bleachers with a friend.  Through some circumstances that don’t really matter, the shirt got left there and my post-race mind didn’t think to ask for it or grab it before leaving.

Only later did I realize that wait a second that was my lerato long sleeve shirt that I love and that I can’t replace.  A shirt that is cozy and comfy and from my friend June (who I get to see in June!!!!!!!).  Plus, it has my Sesotho name on it: Lerato.  In case you didn’t know, I’m a bit sentimental when it comes to things especially Africa things (Gifts is definitely one of my higher love languages…after words of affirmation).  I’m still holding onto a pair of jeans that probably should be thrown away but they’re the pair I wore when I told Lindo “see you in His timing.”

Back on track, all that to say that I wanted my shirt back.

A few tears and a few “Ah, shame, okay, God, I’ll keep prying my fingers off Africa and let You be God and do what You want to do and lay it all down again…” Gotta love how He uses even a silly little shirt to show how tight my grip is on things…

Mix that with a lot of trust and some mutters of “I want my knife shirt back…” I let it go and went about my day with a whole lot of peace.

Except the pretty awesome thing about God is that He cares about the little things and He sees us. He put those desires in our heart for a reason and likes to encourage us along the journey.  My heart beats Africa and He sees that.  I like to think that David probably had a few “I see you…” moments from God while he was out in the fields waiting to take steps toward his destiny.

A few faith steps later and the shirt was back in my hands.

Plus, a little bit of extra hope and trust came with it.

pretty cute, isn’t it? and wow my hair was long then…