Monday, February 12, 2007

A strange phenomenon...

Ever have days when you realize that you really don't get something that you thought you had a pretty good handle on? A few weeks ago, I picked up a book a friend sent for Christmas (thatnks Derek) and it is challenging me quite a bit. It is a book about Grace, and it seems, that why I am so quick to forgive others, I am much less forgiving of myself, I am hard on myself and I don't accept forgiveness easily, i am always wanting to make up for what I have done to wrong someone...

This lead me to the conclusion, that I am this way with God too. It is because I am forgiven that I am inclined to forgive others, and do so, but I am often feeling like I need to do something for his forgiveness, even though I know the verses and like the back of my hand that say he has forgiven us, not by our works, but by his grace, like they have been imprinted on the back of my hand...i don't live it really... it seems like when I think I am getting good at accepting grace, I find myself back in my old routine of earning or trying to earn again. Thankfully there is grace. As I hear God say to me..."Good morning Pam, remember today, you will mess up, you will sin, you will judge others, you will become frustrated and act out of your frustration...but my Grace, it is sufficient, and it is already given to you, so don't go and set about doing things to earn my approval or make me happy, I am already pleased by just being with you."

Hmmm. a bit puzzling isn't it. Grace. I wonder if I will ever get it. It really is a phenomenon to me.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How to...

Turn 29 in Africa.

First, you start by letting your friends take you to dinner at your favorite local Indian Restaraunt over the weekend when everyone can escape work for a few hours!!



Then you wake up at the normal time on your birthday and realize it is your birthday and so you crawl back in bed for just a FEW more minutes! Only to be surprised by a phone call from your big brother! YEAH! A FEW minutes more in bed turned out to be nearly an hour more due to this wonderful conversation back home. I love those talks, and can't get nearly enough of them!

After all of that, you get up, and find, someone has made you eggs for breakfast! I knew it was good to take on interns! HA!

Then you read countless emails from home and realize people haven't forgotten you existed at all! Really people! You are AMAZING! My inbox was overtaken by birthday wishes! It was a blessing!

Then you go to the office to pay the taxes that are due tomorrow. Talk to your boss, remind him its your birthday and that you are going to take a little time today.

Then you go shopping! You take the wonderful intern who cooked you breakfast to get those beaded sandals she has been wanting and the african purse too! You buy nothing for yourself because you couldn't convince yourself to fall madly in love with anything you saw.
You go to the grocery to buy necessary items for the mexican feast you and your roomie plan on making for dinner. Mom calls! What fun, finally a clear connection so you can actually carry on a conversation. You break personal boundaries and talk while driving...not a good idea in Africa, but by now you know the backroads so it isn't quite as risky.

You go out to lunch at a little cafe, which also happens to have the best ice cream in town. You eat lunch, grab a cone, and also spoil yourself by buying the 1 liter container to go! Then you find out your bill has already been paid so you get all items free!

After lunch you head home and then start cookin! You bake banana bread for home group and start making enchiladas! It is a process as you have to make everything from scratch, but you are thankful you got the last package of corn tortillas at the butchery that day so at least you don't have to make those! During the cooking, you get a phone call from a really special family in Kokomo! Thanks to a school delay you get to talk to ALL the kids and Martha too. You forget how far the distance is between you and them for a few minutes and are thankful for cell phones and the ability to make such calls!

You eat said dinner and recall that the chili powder here is way stronger than the chili powder in America and so your homemade enchilada sauce...is HOT!

The refried beans, spanish rice and salsa (all from scratch) are free from chili powder so they don't burn your mouth off and cause you to sweat!

After dinner you head to homegroup. Enjoy some worship, some Word, and some time with friends from church. Some brownies for the chocolate fix, and your banana bread is a hit. You get a special picture from Tyler (Pam's 4 year old) that says "To: Bam"
You take one last birthday photo...the girls from homegroup:



After home group you come home to find Gary and Judy returned from Nairobi, and share with them all of the days events and get one more gift.

People head to bed, and the house becomes quite, and you realize you have reached the end of the first day of your 29th year and you are overwhelmed with emotion. You realize the many gifts God has given you, the places he has taken you, the friends and family he has blessed you with and you can't help but think you are the most blessed gal in all of the world.

You then become more thankful when you realize it isn't over, you have belated birthday dinner down the street at Pam's house with her family... an event that will surely be delicious and unforgetable!

More Lengai Photos..

Arrival at camp. Day 1
I think spider man had some tools up his sleeve... he at least had a net to catch himself with!
What a view! And we haven't even reached the top yet!


We made it!













Monday, February 05, 2007

GO COLTS!

It is 10PM on monday night and I just came home from a Superbowl Party! Praise God for technology and satellite TV! I got to watch the game, mind you several hours after it was over, and watch the Indianapolis Colts take the title! YEAH COLTS!

There were a few differences in my first superbowl in Africa:
  • No chips n salsa (very sad I know)
  • I couldn't take it and looked up the score first thing this morning...thus I knew who won before kickoff this evening!
  • I was surrounded by non-hoosiers!
  • No Commercials!!! So very sad, but apparently the re-run satellite version cuts out the good commercials and puts in the European ESPN commercials...they were pathetic.
  • Since I was in Africa, there aren't any celebrations in the streets, as I am sure there were in Indy...most here don't even give thought to American Football.
Congrats Indy, we finally got it. I can't believe I wasn't even in town to experience it.