Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I'm leaving on an airplane in just some hours. Flying to Idaho to rejoice with a dear friend on her wedding day! So thankful that God gives times like this.

I'm not sure why I'm still up, avoiding the packing I have yet to finish. Today I went to the bank, and after dropping off my brother across the street, I spent some time sitting in a drive thru by myself. I glanced in the rear view mirror, habit, but of course he wasn't there. My mom instinct looks for him everywhere, even as the empty feeling in my chest reminds me that he isn't here. He is far away tonight.

It's strange, this week two of my friends are also flying places. One to meet my dear Mary, who I haven't seen in over a year now. The other is flying to my little one, back to Africa. So thankful for them, all of these journeys that God is simultaneously orchestrating. Although sometimes I wonder [why?]

Recently, I've felt in my spirit that God wants me to pray about moving back to South Africa. [no, not visiting. yes, moving] So I guess intead of packing tonight, I'm looking up job openings for a preschool teacher there. Of course, God wanting me to pray is not God sending me. My heart and hopes move too fast sometimes. Many miracles would still have to happen for this to even be possible. And of course I'm here for a while yet, committed to a job with two amazing kiddos. But I am taking the next scary step of asking, pressing in to His heart a little deeper, wondering what plans He has for this thing He's put on my heart now.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

by Alanna

[thank you Jesus]

This weekend, in the midst of all heartache and sorrow, this answer to prayer lit up my day. Gifted me with tears of joy. This little boy, after being an orphan for 4 long years, finally has a daddy. And with his little brother too! All the prayers for him, all the love in my heart, the ache for him to experience the love of an earthly father, all answered.

[God is writing you a beautiful story precious one]

[all smiles]

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sugar and spice and everything nice...that's what little girls are made of.

And that's what we'll be having sometime in January...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Let love be without hypocrisy.
Abhor what is evil.
Cling to what is good.
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love,
in honor giving preference to one another;
not lagging in diligence,
fervent in spirit,
serving the Lord;
rejoicing in hope,
patient in tribulation,
continuing steadfastly in prayer;
distributing to the needs of the saints,
given to hospitality...
Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


dear little one,

today i mailed your blanket
the one i've been making all summer long
i had to pack it in a box and i couldn't fit
so i sent it without me
i wish i could be there to give it to you
we'd play peekaboo and then you'd run to my arms
and we'd laugh and laugh

the geese are flying south
i saw them yesterday overhead
and i wished i had wings because i'd join them
and fly to you

the colder the days get
the more i'm reminded that this is the time of year
that i'm supposed to go to your country
[the distance is quite simply much too far for me to row
it seems farther than ever before]

my heart aches and longs and sometimes
i think it will burst out of me
because it can't stand to be so far from you
my little love
[i need you so much closer]

i went to the police station and got fingerprinted for a preschool lab
and remembered back to one year ago
and the year before that
at that same spot, getting paperwork done
so i could fly to you

i am so proud of you
the way you've grown
the things you've learned
your heart of joy
your first "i love you"

baby i have missed so much
it has been too long
don't grow up too fast without me

i hope you never hurt the way i do
i hope you don't miss me
but i hope that you remember
that you are loved

and your momma holds your heart in hers

Sunday, September 4, 2011

concrete and swings

by Alanna

Two weeks ago I started college again. So now its back to the mundane things of life. Work, school, homework, fighting. Always fighting for joy. I know that this is where God wants me. Here, in America, for a year. Working and saving money, being a testimony to His goodness, learning patience, helping my mom with the little ones, being a part of my family's life again. I am so thankful for this time that He is giving me. I have a whole year of good things to look forward to. Friday night prayer meetings, Wednesday night chances to pour into the lives of kids here, Sunday morning place of encouragement and worship. I am fighting to keep my eyes wide open for His graces. But then of course, my heart aches to be in Africa. Most of all, I am homesick for my little one.

The day after school started, I found myself laying on our driveway. Face pressed to concrete, tears staining the ground, moaning my questions to Him who sees. Why am I so far away from the son of my heart? If You gave him to me, Lord, then why does an ocean divide us? And why here, why a whole year? Nothing relieves this pain in me. But also, I am sure that He sees. And something beautiful will come of this, because He has promised to make me more like His Son. [for those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son] And I claim that promise for me and my little one.

Some days later, my parents went on a mountain excursion for the weekend, and I found myself being mom for the weekend to my three little sisters. We packed a lunch, went to the library, and played in fountains. We went to the park and I sat on the swings with my little sister. Swinging reminds me of the hanging I do every day. Hanging on only the Lord and His promises, because really I have nothing else to cling to. And I started to realize then, that I can be so blind to the joy and opportunities in this year of waiting. If we have to sit on this swing with our feet dangling, why not feel the wind through our hair? Why not laugh and hang backward and stand up and spin around? My youngest sister taught me so much that day. And after our friends were done playing ultimate frisbee, we all gathered to pray together. I knelt on a rock and spoke thanks. Remembered back to the concrete, and my heart aches. In this joy there is so much pain. And in the midst of my hurt, there is also so much joy. If only I'd open my eyes.

"Hagar and her boy were dying of thirst with a well less than a bowshot away. What insanity compels me to shrivel up when there's joy's water to be had here? In this wilderness, I keep circling back to this: I'm blind to joy's well every time I really don't want to see it. The well is always there. And I choose not to see it. Don't I really want joy? Don't I really want the fullest life? For all my yearning for joy, longing for joy, begging for joy- is the bald truth that I prefer the empty dark?....Do I think Jesus-grace too impotent to give me the full life? Isn't that the only reason I don't always swill the joy? If the startling truth is that I don't really want joy, there's a far worse truth. If I am rejecting the joy that is hidden somewhere deep in this moment- am I not ultimately rejecting God? Whenever I am blind to joy's well, isn't it because I don't believe in God's care? That God cares enough about me to always offer me joy's water, wherever I am, regardless of circumstance. But if I don't believe God cares, if I don't want or seek the joy He definitely offers somewhere in this moment- I don't want God."

(One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp)