What can you possibly say when you return from a country like Sierra Leone?
I could tell stories of beautifully strong people I met. People who keep on when the world is actively trying to hold them back.
I could talk about the kids who climbed on me, touched my hair, and face, and clung to me.
I could speak of men who are passionate about developing their country one person at a time, but they don’t know how they’ll feed their family tonight.
I could tell you about fierce women who are pursuing higher education and raising their children while making the equivalent of $150 per month.
I could show you pictures of a remote village that burned down and now the people are coming together and rebuilding with the help of our church.
I could blog about all of this, but I’m still processing, thinking, and feeling. If you really want to know about this trip to Africa, let’s talk in person. This hardly ever happens to me, but it doesn’t feel like the right time to write.
Instead, I want to share 10 things that are on my mind.
- Titus seemed to gain a whole new vocabulary while I was gone. Within 12 days he somehow started to speak in tiny, kid-sized sentences. I love it! He also picked up the words, “bad dog”. And now he walks around the whole house pointing at poor Breck and yelling, “Bad dog!”, even though Breck is innocent (usually).
- My gut feelings are usually right — I feel like that’s kind of my superpower — but I was wrong about something today. I was praying and seeking the Lord this week about a particular issue and trying to make myself at peace with my gut feeling — that he wasn’t going to answer my prayers the way I wanted him to. But he did. While I’m pleasantly surprised (actually, super excited!), I’m wondering if I’m losing my superpower.
- Circumstances shouldn’t dictate happiness. Just one thought that’s been rolling around the back of my mind since returning from Sierra Leone.
- Never eat a “chicken burger” in a third world country.
- I started Parenthood this week and it took me one entire episode to get into it. I wasn’t sure at first! But I’m really loving it now. Plus, Lauren Graham is so perfect in every role she plays.
- Laundry is one of my least favorite chores, but I actually enjoyed it today. Usually, I save housework for when Titus is asleep so that I can spend as much time with him as possible. Today, I got the genius idea to combine chores and time with Titus. We chatted and he handed me the clean laundry to fold. It was glorious and now I’m sitting here blogging instead of folding laundry. Hallelujah!
- My mom gave me the Magnolia Journal this month and it’s just been one of my highlights. I have nothing else to say except if you enjoy easy but good writing, pick up a copy and you will be encouraged and inspired.
- Right now, I’m reading The Warmth of Other Suns. My friends will read this and roll their eyes because I’ve been reading this book since late March. I’ve read other books since starting this one, but now I’m buckling down. I think the reason it’s taking so long is because the content is heavy. It’s hard for me to read because I get so sucked into books (and movies and TV shows. It’s a little unhealthy). However, it’s a fantastic book about America’s Great Migration of African Americans. By fantastic I mean, factual and based on true stories, reads like a novel, and it’s so well-written. I definitely recommend it.
- The Bethel Kids worship playlist on Spotify (if you have Amazon Prime you can stream it for free!) is one of my favorite things to listen to with Titus. I have it on in the background while we play and eat and. It’s so well-done and usually kids’ music gives me a headache, but this is perfect! It’s all the songs we sing on Sunday mornings, but cuter because it’s a bunch of talented kids singing.
- Paramedic school is almost over! The light at the end of the tunnel is no longer a tiny dot in the darkness, but it’s bright and it’s lighting up my life! We’re so excited for Dustin to finish and to go back to our old normal. A crazy, but slightly more manageable normal.