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Guilt

Since becoming a parent life has changed, obviously. But what I have been feeling lately is the guilt of saying “no”. No I can’t because it will interfer with nap time, I would have to bring the kids, they don’t have food my kids will eat, it would interfer with my kids sleep schedule. That to just list a few, basically I feel like I am putting people in an awkward position either way whether I say yes or say no. Its awkward in that arrangements will have to be made regardless. I can’t just go last minute, spur of the moment, its impossible.
I have kids, so life is different and as much as I would like to say yes to pretty much every offer, the answer usually has to be no. I find that its hard to balance friendships, work, church, family. No matter if they have kids, had kids, or don’t have kids, it is impossible to do anything without first figuring out a game plan for the kids, compromise will have to be made somehow.

Sure if some life circumstances were different saying yes might be easier. If I had money for a nanny, my kids were older, the kids were in school and fun times could be had during daytime hours. So there is promise for more “yes” answers in the future.

Currently, however, I have to make sacrifices for the best interest of my kids. It may mean I personally miss out on fun with adults, but ultimately my priorities have changed because I chose to have kids. I love my time with my kids, and at times I feel guilty for letting others down by my inability to say “yes”. So if you are on the receiving end of one of my “no’s” please don’t take it as a personal attack. In a few years if you stick with me my answer might change, and I hope you are still my friend. I really want you to keep asking, because one day my answer will be “yes” I promise.

All this to say, I am also trying to exhibit grace to others out there that for reasons of their own say “no”. Sometimes in life we need to be able to say no and not feel guilty for disappointing others. I also put out a challenge to you to give yourself the ability to also say “yes” every once in awhile. Even if it means more work for you or uncomfortableness for your kids. It’s important to have a balance, helps with the guilt, resentment, jealousy and other negative effects of being a hermit. Let the people pleaser in you take a break and do something that benefits you whether it means saying “yes” or saying “no”.

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Passing Judgement

In light of the recent incidents I was debating whether to write this… but I actually think that its the perfect time to write on this topic. I am only going to write though about my personal experiences and passing judgment or even commenting on the situations past and present won’t do anyone any good. I want to share my experience being a minority while living in Uganda. You may think that I am talking about the obvious difference of color but that is not what made me a minority, it was that I was from America. Just think who thought that being from America would cause me to have to experience prejudice. As much as I loved the kids and the impact that was being made, there was the constant judgment that I received from those who didn’t know me. The people that I would pass by at the market, on the taxis or as I was teaching the kids, some of which was lost in translation, literally. I don’t necessarily know what the judgment was in all the cases but I do know that it was uncomfortable, hurtful and at times infuriating.

The way that I was able to get through the discomfort was to be authentic, to let them know the truth, to correct their incorrect assumptions. Now I couldn’t of course do this to everyone, some would just have to be wrong and go on in life and just think what they wanted to think. I even had law enforcement make assumptions, usually involving the amount of money we had at our disposal and true story, we even were told that we could just call up Obama and our fine would be removed. Mind you we were not doing anything that was against the normal way of life, but because we were different it was okay to make assumptions and pass judgment. If you want to hear the entire story, I will tell you it, its pretty funny retrospectively.

I want to keep this entry short, and conclude with this. On this earth there will be much that is done that is unjust, hurtful, shameful, judgmental, and temporary. Yes I said temporary. See what we have to remember and hold true to is that God is the ultimate judge and that life on earth is temporary. So yes some may have a wonderful life here on earth, but that is temporary, and if they don’t have a relationship with Christ then, their judgment comes and it has eternal effects. Effects that I don’t want anyone to have to suffer. So my prayer is this for the world to know Christ, I know it may sound too good to be true, but the world would have more peace and less violence if everyone knew the love of Christ. If everyone knew the wonderful news of JESUS, His sacrifice that he made for us. See he was judged too, it just worked out in the entire universes favor. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and you will understand.

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A Typical Day

What does your typical day look like? I wanted to reflect and project what life has been like for me and what I anticipate life will be like in the future. As you read this where might you find yourself at in your life journey and do you like it or want to alter it?

Let’s start with the past, from what I remember growing up days during the summer would be spent in the city, we would pack for a day out and leave our little country house and drive into town. I remember having swim practice when it was still cool and then stick around for my brothers baseball and more pool time. It was a long warm day usually filled with concession food, which was fantastic as a kid. When we were out on the farm, we had animals that we helped with, but mostly what I remember was the adventures that we went on. So many cool places to explore, I have a great scar from one of those adventures to remind me. We had a makeshift tree house from a tree that got struck by lightning and had to get trimmed down. We also had a few acres to explore and an area that had some great “treasures”.

Jumping ahead to my teen years all I really can remember are two things. Playing sports and hanging out with my youth group friends. A typical day in the life of a teen in America was not that hard looking back. Sure we had tragic events that happened like Columbine and Sept. 11, but I personally wasn’t affected in the grand scheme of it all.

I met my husband when I was finishing up college, and that’s when life really became a little less typical. We met via the interweb and had a long distance relationship until I was done with college and had a summer to work. I moved to good olé Michigan and we had a pretty normal first year of marriage. We then had a talk… thankfully we were both on the same page. We wanted a change and that change led us to Uganda, Africa. We sold everything, and what we didn’t sell we stored at my parents house. We landed in Uganda on our second wedding anniversary (very romantic).

While we were in Uganda life was anything but typical, but a typical day for life in Uganda looked like this. I should say from my perspective a typical day for most looked like this. Fetch water or fetch a taxi (a 15 passenger van, boda, or bike), work in the hot sun or if your lucky a hot building, take a nap (I feel like everyone at one point in there day found a shady area to rest), get food for dinner if it wasn’t already started at home in the morning, fetch a taxi and go home. That is just a rough outline of a typical day for a typical person. I am actually going to do a mini documentary on life in Uganda from the vantage point of different professions.

Life post Uganda, has been crazy, when we came back after starting Rising Star Ministries, we were very excited to run it from home and tell everyone about it. We were invited to share at several different places and we were excited to figure out the next step. Well as we tried to figure out life, we had our first child a boy, Jacob Daniel. We still didn’t have life figured out how we thought we were supposed to be living, and then along came our second child a girl, Parker Renée. Then we figured life out…. hahaha.

Ok so we didn’t quite figure life out, but life went from me working fulltime to me working at home. Matt went through various jobs never finding one that met his qualifications or felt like it was supposed to be. Then we decided to fully give our lives to God and asked him to really answer us in a distinct way. He did. Our typical life was supposed to change, and that change was to pack up our kiddos and move again to Uganda, this time without a return date and just faith that He would provide.

So now our typical day here in the states is fundraising and child-raising, and preparing for life in another country, and continent with two kiddos and an amazing growing ministry. Our life will never really be typical, but I am okay with that.

Support us go to http://www.risingstarministries.com

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Faith Through Patience

Patience is a funny thing, I always thought I had a lot of patience at least when it came to others. Then I had kids and I assessed patience in a whole new way, I felt like I had super human patience at times and then snap that patience was no more. I would say I have patience in traffic which I know is a big struggle for some, ahem Matt. I can usually wait in long lines if I have someone to talk to that isn’t asking for everything in that line or whining that they want to be done. That’s usually when I give them something from the cart like those amazing squeeze drinks and just put the finished pouch on the counter to scan.

Eternal patience is a whole new area that is tested daily for me. Most days I am patient with the obvious future like heaven, I can wait but am excited and ready at the same time. I always have been ready for whenever my time is, this earth is crazy, but as I get older I have grown more attached to things like my husband, and my kids. I am excited for Heaven because I will be reunited with some amazing people and the most amazing of all God. Its a little harder for me to be patient when it comes to earthly wishes. I think it becomes even more increasingly hard when you feel deep in your core that you are in line with what God wants and He still is asking you to have faith and wait.

The hard part for me has been to have faith that God is totally in control and that He is using me even in the moment of waiting and transition. I at times am too focused on where He wants me to be instead of the journey of how He is getting me there. Sometimes too the faith in people instead of the faith that God will in His timing work through people. Its an easy thing to get caught up in and worry about when really as long as you are being faithful in the moment, God will answer your call, especially since it is in line with His will.

The journey that my family is on now is a perfect example of “Faith through patience”. God will send us to Uganda and it can be a blessing during the wait. For example when God does place on peoples hearts to give financially and we are made aware of that blessing, it is such a pick me up kind of blessing. I think that it really makes me excited for that person who gave because I know deep to my core that they are going to be blessed because they gave and that they prayed. So amazing how many lives can be impacted through patience and that your faith can be increased when you totally put your trust in God’s plan and timing for your life.

http://www.risingstarministries.com the time is getting closer… patiently awaiting our return to Uganda.