Friday, August 31, 2007

How am I?

Many have emailed, and asked I am doing. Honestly, I am ok, but wrestling with a lot of emotions. Typically, in America, being accused of a crime wouldn't be so bad, actually I don't really know because I have never stood accused, but anyhow, some would think that this whole week was just a hurdle...but I must be honest, I feel like I climbed Mt. Meru three or four times, or maybe 10. I am tired.

I am angry. I am hurt. I am in physical pain because I like to carry stress in my neck and shoulders, and somehow it has made it through my whole back. I am frustrated, I am annoyed, I am feeling a lot of things I couldn't put words to. I am reeling. I am exhausted physically, spiritually and emotionally. I am not myself.

But I am trusting God. I am trusting Him to enable me to trust this culture again. I have not fallen out of love with my job or my life here, I have just had my foundation rocked a bit. I am more in love with this place, even after this experience, and honestly, I am more passionate about bringing change, because I realize that I was harassed because I was a white woman, but the underlying manipulation etc, power struggle, is faced by all Tanzanians. Yes, I am a little afraid, I don't want to drive as I don't want to get in this situation again. It's not an accident that frightens me, but the idea of the ramifications of the accident. I am grieving.

I am reliving a lot of things, that again I can't put into words. I am wanting to pick myself up by the bootstraps and stand tall, strong and speak with a loud voice, but my spirit is squashed and would rather run home or stay in bed. My bed is comfy, and predictable, and well it is just so cozy. Home, home sounds nice, and well home isn't here which makes it sound even nicer. BUT! This is my home, and as frustrated with it as I am, I can say with 100% certainty, that I know this is where I need to be. I am happy to be here.

It's a paradox. A love-hate, courage-fear, rejoice-grieving type relationship. So now that you all think I am crazy, or depressed, I encourage you with the words of Scott Price my team leader, "Pam, although you think the last week was nothing, it was something, it was a crisis, yeah, it doesn't seem like a crisis, but it was, you should be emotionally drained, and physically, and spiritually, that is normal, and we will get you through this." I am normal. I am OK.

So my feelings, they are normal. And, I am working on finding a counselor in Nairobi to debrief the experience, the harassment, the manipulation, the hurting. I will be ok. And yes, I am still driving.

So don't worry, that doesn't accomplish anything, but keep praying. Praying as I process all that I went through in the last 6 days (it is shocking to think that all this happened in only 6 days), and pray that I would do my part in restoring myself. My team has been wonderful, like any family would they have surrounded me and loved me and given me all that I need, they continue to direct me towards Jesus and act like him when I need it. They are being incredibly supportive of my random tears, and my crazy one-liners. They are wonderful. God, in His great mercy is comforting me as well. I am amazed by how His word can speak so closely to my heart in this situation. I am growing. And I am my beloveds and He is mine. I am loved by the King of Kings. I am His daugther, and I am safe.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It didn't look as bad as it felt on saturday.

So yesterday when I went to get the police reports, and my car, I took along the camera, for my sake, and for the sake of the insurance company. I knew they would want pics. When I saw the car, in a calm state, a few days after the crash, it didn't seem as bad as it did on saturday. The biggest concern is the damage under the hood. Lets hope the engine that was just rebuilt a few weeks ago is still in tact. What we do know is that the car won't start, the radiator and cooling fan are damaged and pushed back, the obvious physical damage to the grill, lights, bumper etc, the a/c (that's important) appears to be damaged, and a "slightly bent" (according to the vehicle inspection from the police report) front suspension.

So today I go back again, with a tow truck and a letter requesting the accident report. Hopefully the tow truck being there will help to motivate them to release my car. Maybe I should bring some cookies too.



Sunday, August 26, 2007

The day after

The day after and a few phone calls always helps one to gain perspective.

I got a phone call this morning, that from the start led me to Jesus. After a hello, there was just a spurring on to pray, "Pam, lets pray" and as I fought tears and prayed, comfort came and I was then able to stop being so hard on myself and stop reliving the events of the crash like a bad 80's song on repeat. Later in the afternoon my dad called, and also helped to encourage.

We then were able to laugh about a few things. One of which was shortly after the accident, the driver of the other vehicle came up to me and asked, "is there extensive damage?" Mind you, we were both standing in front of my car, hood folded like a taco, radiator fluid running down the road, lights shattered, bumper pushed back. Obvious damge under the hood. Initially I wanted to laugh, and reply, "no sir, no extensive damage here, I have been driving the car in this condition for weeks!" I chose not to, and honestly didn't answer his question.

So how are things? As I said yesterday, no one was hurt, but Kendra and I both woke up a little sore today, which was expected. We are all still incredibly thankful and aware that it is miraculous that no one was hurt. We are rejoicing in these things. The kids are fine, and we redeemed our fun weekend with church this morning and a fun afternoon chilling at Aunt Pam's.

What is next? This is where we pray. Where we beg of God to led us and dictate the steps, and arrange divine appointments. Yesterday the police came to the scene of the accident to start the process. Insurance requires a police report. I laughed a little, as I watched their investigation of the scene. A tape measure, scrap piece of paper and a pen were their tools as they drew a sketch to show the placement of the vehicles. After a few hours standing on the side of the road waiting for them to draw their picture, they came up to me and told me the options. Before they can issue a police report, they have to do an inspection of the vehicle. And of course, it was after hours. So the police officer told me I had two options. First, he was willing to do me a "favor" and inspect the vehicle at the scene, I could then have it towed to a garage for them to start the estimate and come by tomorrow (today) to pick up the actual report. A "favor" would require an under the table financial exchange (bribe) so I went for option number two. Have the car towed to the police station and come back today to pick up my car and the report.

We all assume, that this is not going to be a simple process. That going to the station to get my car and the report will require many trips to the police station, many refusals at bribe offers, many hours of waiting and frustration. We are hoping though, that God would grant us some mercy, and that as I head to the police station tomorrow we will find favor with the police officers and things will move forward with less hassle than anticipated.

Thanks for the prayers, the emails, and notes of encouragement! They have blessed me!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My hands are still shaking

Todd and Tami Carter are celebrating their anniversary , so Kendra and I thought it would be fun to take their three kids for the weekend. We picked them up at noon, planned a pic-nic at Marangu falls and went on our way. We arrived safe and sound. We had a blast in the falls, climbing the rocks, searching out new trails, and eating pbj's and cookies.

After we got feeling back in our legs (they were numb from the cold water) we packed up the car and headed home. And then the day went sour.

It was a blur, and the end result, was squealing tires, crashing of glass, screaming and a sudden stop. We were moving with traffic, between two small towns, when a cart pulled into the lane, causing the car in front of me to slam on his brakes, which led to me slamming on my brakes, swerving as they locked up only to realize I can't swerve cause we are on a bridge and there is oncoming traffic.

Accidents aren't fun, in any country, but I realized, that I have no idea what to do. I was helpless. I had a car full of people, and I didn't even know what to do next. In the USA we would call the police, but we don't have an emergency number to call here. Then the crowd came. People came out of nowhere, honestly I have no clue where they came from, but in a matter of seconds, there were at least 50 Tanzanians gathering. My mind quickly turned to the stories of white people being beaten, hurt terribly and sometimes killed in such instances so fear took over, I got back into my car, told everyone to roll up the windows and lock the doors. We waited for help to arrive.

Five hours later, I am still trying to make sense of it all. I am still still shaking, adrenaline is pumping through my veins, and I am hoping that writing this out would help me to process but am sad as it isn't. My eyes are burning, as I failed to keep it all together and cried like a baby on many occasions. But as I think to the condition of my car, and realize that it is a miracle that no one is hurt I have to be thankful. God truly protected us today, from the crowd, and from injury in the accident. My car, yet again (I got it back last week from the engine repair it was needing) is rendered undrivable. Thankfully I have insurance. By the looks of it, if the car had been in America, it would have been totalled, there was radiator fluid everywhere, as well as others (so much for the engine being rebuilt.) Miracles of many types happen here, and I am convinced, that it will take time, but that I will get my car back, good as new. Thanks to car insurance.

It was a day. Even at the dinner table we all remarked at how it seemed like our trip to the falls was a few days ago, and we were surprised that it was just this morning. I look forward to a new day tomorrow.

Friday, August 24, 2007

We always have a choice.

My dad called yesterday. I love getting calls from home. Couple that with an email from my big brother that brought me to tears, add in the fact that I have been here 17 months (WOW) and well, you gotta expect a doldrum day...or a few at least.

Even at this stage of the game, there is still culture stress and adjustment, there is still a choice to continue abiding in two worlds, or choosing one and rejecting the other.

I still choose to abide. I abide in Christ, and therefore, with Him I can abide anywhere. I still love home, and I choose today to still love it here as well.

Culture stress (shock) it always sneaks up and surprises you.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wheat woes are gone!

So I mentioned trying wheat about a week ago. Our team had talked about it possibly being a curse, or a spiritual problem and so I prayed and ate. The first meal went well. The others not so much. I again became afraid and started avoiding wheat.

The team asked about it on monday at our normal weekly prayer time. I told them the main points and that it hadn't gone away. They then asked to pray over me as a team. There wasn't an explanation for the wheat problem to begin with, and so we asked for healing.

I am THRILLED to report, that I have had wheat products every day since monday without a problem! No symptoms at all. This may seem far out to some of you, but honestly, I do believe in a God who heals, and I give Him credit for this one. The wheat woes are gone!

I love Africa.

There is a reason I take these little trips. They not only allow me to get away and refresh, but they often leave me more in love with this place, and remind me of my heart for this land. This last trip was no different.

On my way up, I sat in the front seat and watched the plains go by and my heart was just filled yet again with a love for this country, for its people and its land. As I rode back down this afternoon, between conversations with John my fellow passenger, and my phone ringing and beeping, I watched again with awe, as we passed people, who had nothing but whose faces still held joy.

My heart is at home here, more so than it has been anywhere else. It is as if, my entire life it was meant to be here, and although I am thrilled about a trip home next year, my heart is also grieving. I love this place. My heart, like I said, is most at home here. It is at its most restful, most peaceful, most broken, and most healed here. I love Africa.

The long ride home...

To Arusha that is.

Tuesday I took a short trip north. I have found the only way I can get down time, and get a good break, is to leave town. It has been months since I did so, and Helen and I planned a short getaway.

The shuttle ride to Nairobi was uneventful, aside from the fact that I got my favorite seat. Helen and I enjoyed the afternoon and wednesday, getting some necessary girl talk, tears, and grocery shopping in. It was restful, and a blessing. I don't know what I would do without these short times I have with her.

Today. Today was an adventure. My shuttle required that I show up at the bus station at 7:30AM. We calculated that with Nairobi traffic I would need to be in a taxi on my way at 6:30AM. Knowing that taxi's are often late, and can be forgetful that early, we arranged for the taxi to meet us at 6, allowing for extra time to scramble for alternatives.

So we arrive at the meeting place, and the taxi was there! SCORE! We bid our farewells, and I am on my way. 20 minutes later (not an hour later as we expected) we arrived at the bus station! Since when does Nairobi NOT have rush hour traffic????

The fun began a few hours later. I am on the bus, not in my favorite seat, even though since I was so early I had first choice. I thought I would try another out, and I have since learned my lesson. At the third stop, the bus is getting full, and an older gentleman asked if he could sit in the seat next to me, even though I had carefully placed items on the seat showing it was occupied. I relented, and moved the stuff. I then learned that my neighbor was a talker. And he apparently didn't brush his teeth.

About 10 minutes into the trip the conversation begins:
John: Where are your parents?
Me: A bit confused by the question I answer: They are in America.
John: Why aren't they here with you?
Me: Cause I work in Arusha. They live in America.
John: Oh, you are a student doing an exchange.
Me: No, I work here.
John: You are too young to live here by yourself, are you a student at the university?
Me: No, I live and work in Arusha.
John: But you can't be more than 20 years old, maybe 19, and you have a job already?

At this point, I ponder the plethora of gray hairs I noticed on my head last night and soak up the fact that he thought I was so young. I then inform him that I am 29. He about fell off his seat in shock. Ahh...to be so youthful.

About half an hour later, I am doing what most people do when they are traveling and don't care to interact with fellow travelers. I have the ipod on, and book open and am in my own little world. The introvert in me doesn't see the need to make friends on such journeys. John leans over, he has more questions.

John: Pam, where is your husband.
Pam: I don't have a husband.
John: But you are 29, you NEED a husband. You are getting old.

(Sidenote: Just half an hour previously I was too young to be traveling.)

Pam: Well Sir, I am waiting on God to bring me my husband.
John: But Pam, you really must do your part.
Pam: Sir, I know I have my role to play, but I am also waiting on God. He knows what I need better than I do.
John: But really, you are getting so old. The prime age for women to have children is 32.
Pam: Uh-uh
John: Do you want to marry a Tanzanian or American?
Pam: Preferably American, so we can understand each others culture.
John: Do you know any american men?
Pam: Yes.
John: Are your parents looking for you.
Pam: No. They are trusting God with me.
John: Oh oh. That is not good. You really must get married. God can't bring you someone without your help. You need to tell people you are looking for a husband.
Pam: (very annoyed, as I have through this entire conversation tried to read and listen to my music but he isn't following the signs...they must not be universal.) Sir, I do want to get married one day, and perhaps one day I will, but honestly, I believe God has a plan for my life, and can provide for my every need, and if I need a husband, he will provide that as well.

I think he sensed my frustration, as he stopped pushing the issue. For about half an hour. He then started the same conversation over. Three more times. I will forever choose my favorite seat in the future.

Big Brothers.

I can remember being a little girl and looking up to my big brother. He was the coolest, the fastest, the funnest, the toughest. He was the best and for almost all 29 years of my life, we were good friends. There was a short stint in high school where it wasn't cool to be friends with your little sister, but I completely understand. He helped me learn how to ride a bike, taught me about camping, took care of me and watched over me the many times I injured myself, and he also taught me all he could about boys. He wanted to make sure I was prepared for any situation. To put it bluntly, he loved me. He still does, and man do I love him.

He was a teacher. A leader. A protector. A friend. He is all those things now and more. He is a hero, he taught me how to chase my dreams, even when it didn't make sense (when does moving to Africa ever make sense) and encouraged me to look beyond myself. And as if he has any time left in his day after being all these things, he is an amazing husband, and he defends our freedom. I love my brother. Today I miss him immensely, ironically, he is somewhere in Africa and knowing he is so incredibly close, causes me to miss him even more.

That's my mood tonight. It's been my mood the last 24 hours. Thank God for big brothers.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The "M" word.

I have noticed it since I arrived, but it came up in conversation today, and I was a little frustrated. It seems, that there are expectations that go along with the "M" word.

It seems, that when you use the "M" word, they automatically think of someone who has it all together, who knows it all, who has it all figured out. They think that Missionaries, have all the answers, are prude, boring, no fun, and well, lets just say it's not a good picture.

I have noticed this in a few circumstances since arriving in Arusha. At first when I would meet a western non-Christian worker here, they would ask what I do and I would tell them I was a missionary with CMF, working in the slums of Arusha. There was an inevitable response, "oh." and then it was as if I had told them I was a leper or something because they would become disinterested in further conversation.

So after a few instances of this sort of interaction, I used new words. I am working to help nationals transform their lives and their neighborhoods with a community health education program (the non-Christian lingo for CHE used in closed access countries). They would become interested and we would continue conversation about life, the specifics of my job. The door folks, remained open. We would get to talk about family, music, movies, etc. Later on, they would ask who I worked for, and I would say CMF. "What's that," was always the next question. My response, "Christian Missionary Fellowship."

"What? You are a missionary?" "really?" uh-oh. here it comes. the door tries to close, but at this point, they know enough that it doesn't completely slam shut.

Now folks, what is wrong with this picture? Since when are missionaries perfect, unapproachable, unfriendly, or no fun to be around? I have a new mission (not to abuse the "m" word). To change the perceived image of missionaries around here.

Cause really, I will be the first missionary to admit that I don't have it all figured out, that I don't know it all, that yes, even me the missionary, still has to work hard at hearing God's voice, that I am FAR from perfect, that I have bad days, and yes, (but don't tell anyone) I sometimes think of saying things I know I shouldn't! GASP! The list goes on my friends. I am human, I am a real person, and well, I don't deserve a pedastal, and I know a bunch of other missionaries who would agree. We are people. We like to have fun. We love Jesus, and we too, are in desperate need of those mercies that are new every morning.

Book Recommendation

I have read it countless times, and I finished it again last night. And yet again, it was as if I was reading it for the first time. The Sacred Romance challenges how I view God, and how I view myself. It reminds me of my role in the story, and reminds me of the great love God has for me and the lengths He goes to share life with me. I am again floored by the Grace, Mercy, and Love of God. He amazes me. I highly recommend you read it for yourself...a few times. It always changes mine.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My oh my!

Yesterday I was talking with some friends of mine and we both determined, that there are several quality hackers in town, and maybe I should take my external hard drive to one of them to see if they could get the data instead of sending it to the USA. So I figured anything is worth trying, and I dropped my hard drive off.

This morning I went back, and they said there is nothing wrong with the hard drive but that there was a problem with the casing! YEAH! They put my hard drive in a computer and found that it worked fine! Then, they found me a new casing and $60 later I have a functioning external hard drive again! I can't explain to you the depths of my relief! Instead of writing this blog I really should be backing up the new external hard drive!

I had an extremely different experience today, unlike any that I have ever experienced here in Africa. I was in the market getting some fruit and veggies when I noticed local vendors bursting out in laughter! This wasn't normal laughter, this was from the gut, heads tipping backwards arms on the belly laughs with shrieks from the women. Initially my thought was, "ooh, my, what have I done..." then out of the corner of my eye I see a woman walking up to me, and I really thought I had messed up, until I saw that this woman wasn't a woman, but a man! I will say it was a pretty good costume, had me fooled until he was about 3 feet in front of me...and better yet, pulling behind her...er him, with a rope was a grown man, dressed up like a baby, diaper outide the pants and all... I really was hysterical I will say, I too laughed a gutteral laugh and tipped my head back. You had to have been there I suppose. The response from the crowd is what tickled me most, in America you see men dressed up like women and you don't really think anything of it, here, it was obviously a big joke, that humored everyone, even the foreigner.

I also made a visit to Unga today. There was much more laughter there.

Luke 11

Even after a year and a half, I still have moments of culture shock, missing family (those seem more frequent after a year and a half, and uncertainty. I sometimes tend to get overwhelmed with them. I get frustrated with the culture, with life, with the distance between me and those I care about, and I somehow become defeated. Yesterday was one of those days, it was as if I had discouragement sitting on my shoulders. I shouldn't be discouraged, when I look around me things are going so well, things are happening in Unga, God has blessed me with great teammates, great opportunities, GREATNESS in general! But yesterday I couldn't, or wouldn't see it. Yesterday was a gloomy day.



This morning I woke up and discouragement was still sitting on my back. I then started reading Luke 11:2-4. As I read, I was encouraged, I was reminded... see for yourself.



Father.

I get to call the God of the universe father. I could stop there, cause really, that is pretty incredible in itself, He isn't just God, but He longs to know me like dad. Wow!



Hallowed be your name.

His name is Holy! Why? Well lets just consider some of His character traits. He is the Creator. He is Savior. He is Jehovah-Jireh. He is God. When He speaks, there is light, there is sea, there are birds and people. He is the Awesome, the Alpha, the Omega, the beginning and the end. He is All knowing, All giving, All conceiving, All of everything! Holy are you Lord!



Your Kingdom Come.

As I considered the Holiness of God and His Power, His Might, His Wisdom, His Everthing, my desire to know life, to plan it out, to know the steps I will take in the coming years diminished. All I really need to know is the Holy God Father. As I considered Him it was easy to say, Your Kingdom come, because He does know everything, He is GOD!



Give us each day our daily bread.

This wasn't really a request for me, because as I read it and tried to pray it for myself, I realized He already has. Every day He has provided exactly what I needed. Everything. I have lacked nothing emotionally, physically, spiritually, or healthwise. Yeah, sometimes I have been sick and yesterday I was an emotional wreck, but looking back, yesterday I didn't choose to go to God to get emotionally in check again...probably if I had, I would have had a much different day. He not only wants to be daddy, and he is not only holy, but He desires His kingdom to come, and He gives us everything we need for it to get here.



Forgive our sins as we also forgive everyone who sings against us.

There is a healing that comes in seeking forgiveness. I had to ask forgiveness for many things, choices I had made, words I had said, refusing to give forgiveness, for the bitterness and grudges I hold in my heart. Lord teach me to forgive as you forgive me. And then I remembered how great His forgiveness for me was...I cannot help but forgive.



And lead us not into temptation. (or deliver us from the evil one.)

Lord, as I recognize the previous verses, I remember who it is who is my comfort, my strength, my hope, my ever present help in time of need. The enemy tries to lie to me and get me to worship other gods, the gods of self protection, the god of self reliance, the god of false joy...the list goes on, but when I am reminded of You, I run from these, and to your presence.



And I am then reminded of a song.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Stranger Things have happened.

This might seem odd to some, but then again, there are several things that I write that seem odd. Last April, I got sick, really sick, the kind of stomach virus and symptoms that should never be explained on a blog post. Trust me.

Since that eventful day, I have had lingering symptoms, we thought it was an amoeba, but it didn't add up. We then determined, without formal testing (I did my own personal experiments) that I was wheat intolerant. I determined this by keeping a diary, of what I ate and when I got sick. Everytime I ate something with wheat in it, I got sick, gross, disgusting, pain I can't describe sick. So I stopped eating wheat, and stopped getting sick. I did talk to a doctor, and he said, possibly I was so sick in April that I had become wheat intolerant from the volitile experience. I stopped eating wheat.

Well, this past week, several people have said to me, "Pam I wonder if this is a physical illness, or if this is something the enemy is using to cause disruption in your life?" I said, you know, I have heard of stranger things. So we prayed. We asked God to heal my stomach and remove whatever it was that was causing me to not be able to eat wheat.

I have to admit, I believe that God can heal, and can restore us, but I was a bit timid. So I started off slow. I ate a cookie Saturday night. I didn't get sick.

Sunday I laid off, I was a little quesy, so thought to take it easy.

Today I ate pizza. I didn't get sick.

Tomorrow I might go for pancakes.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Unga

Check out what's been going on in Unga this past week!

I will fill you in on the rest of life later!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Time away...

Things have been busy. Very Busy. The interns took off, and honestly, I intended to take a day off for myself...but ended up taking half a day. I had work to do!

Budget meetings. Those are always fun aren't they? I am not a fan of meetings, especially these type, but I managed. Budget approved. That's always good to hear!

Moving and painting. It seems like I am really good at starting projects. I needed to move some stuff around for Kendra's arrival this weekend. I started, and have done a little each day, then I got distracted and decided that I needed to paint my bedroom, the walls probably haven't been painted in who knows how many years, and they were unbearable to look at. I chose a soft yellow, however something happened between the little card and the computer that mixes the paint (This is Africa) and my soft yellow...well it isn't so soft! Oh well, my room is now cheery. VERY CHEERY!

Time in Unga. I went to Unga today, three days late, missed a celebration that I didn't know was gonna take place. You can read it on the Unga blog. Link at the right.

Fighting. I have been fighting in my sleep lately. Literally. You can pray about this. I think someone knows that when I am lacking in sleep I am less effective in my ministry. Tonight I am positive I am gonna sleep well, cause I am reminded that Jesus is my life, not some annoying pest.

Wheat. No change. Sadly, someone slipped some wheat into my meal yet again the other night (I really need to learn the condiments that have wheat in them.) and so I managed to endure the morning after. It wasn't pleasant, I will spare you.

Furlough. Oh, this is exciting! As part of my budget planning for next year, I had to start (had to...as if you had to twist my arm to think about visiting friends and family) planning my trip home. I am gonna stay long enough to do another REACH group, and I am thinking about flying home with them at the end of June, arriving around Aug 1, or a week later! Exciting stuff! I get about 7 months home, so will look forward to talking to you all and planning visits to Oregon, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina and Colorado. I will base myself out of Indianapolis.

So thats it in a nutshell. Life is life. It is becoming normal here, which is good. Someone asked me where home was the other day, I had to think about the answer. Another good thing. I think it shows I am adjusting more and more by the day.

The team is great, life is great, God is even greater!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Grace

Yesterday left me frustrated, mostly with myself. And this started a long evening of "beating myself up" as I feel like I am to blame for the costly repairs required to my vehicle. Yes, I check the oil regularly, and yes, I stopped immediately when the oil light came on, but that doesn't matter, it is my car, and it is my responsibility, and not only was there a mistake, but it was an expensive one! I don't like making mistakes, not one bit, but I really hate making ones that are expensive.

So this led to an evening of me fighting more arrows. Why do I do this to myself? Regardless, this morning I woke up singing and realized that I am pretty good at giving grace to others, but I really stink at giving it to myself. This isn't a boast really, cause I can be quite the grudge holder and some days you should just change my name and call me Mara.

That all being said, I am challanged, to pursue grace, to put on the armor, and to not only extend grace and mercy to others but to invite myself to be a part of it.