Saturday, June 27, 2009


I don't think I've ever realized how much "stuff" I have until tonight. My hopes for getting everything that I have left here in Lynchburg in two suitcases might be dashed. We'll see how sitting on them works. Even staring at my empty closet isn't helping anything sink in. I guess it's good that all of these goodbye's don't seem real. 

This past week at work has been surreal. I've worked in that building for seven years; four of those being full time. I know way too much about the location of every room, office, professor; especially that Christian Service office. I have story after story of weird phone calls, not to mention awkward students that have come in. I have developed incredible friendships with my co-workers, student workers not to mention the amazing professors and my bosses. I have LOVED my job. Most people in this world cannot say that. I know that I've been incredibly blessed. 

As I packed up my desk, I remembered when I had filled it. I remember when I got my nameplate. I felt oh so important and official. I remember when I first took the job, Jill, my predecessor, told me that the job was intensely dependent on the ability to multi-task. She wasn't kidding. This job has taught me so much. That God is using what I've learned these past four years in another continent is baffling. Only Him.

With all that packing today, I'm exhausted. Here's to hoping that my suitcases actually close!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

God Is Detail Oriented

The eye of the storm has officially passed and the rest of the storm has arrived. The days are passing WAY too fast. Is there a way to add hours in a day? Currently, my mind is in overdrive. Since my ticket is bought and I have a date, it's been crazy. My to do list is growing. My mind just races and races. There are SO many details that need to be taken care of. As I'm a planner, this is crazy. There's so many things to do and there's no way I can get it all done.

Enter God. 

You know, He's been along the whole time. When I've felt He was there, when I didn't. When I tried to control things on my own when He was the one really in control. God's been all over this whole process. I'm not sure why I thought He'd ditch me with all of these details left. I thought I'd list some of the cool things God has done so far just so that you can see what He's been doing and be as amazed as I am.

Flight: Whew. The flight. I'd been checking out flights on Orbitz for months checking out options to get to Uganda. When I finally got the clear to buy my ticket from WorldVenture, I was then able to check out the oh-so-cool missionary travel website that has missionary fares. I had gotten the clear from the Catharine in the Uganda field to come whenever but I e-mailed the dates that I was looking at. I went ahead, bought the tickets. I heard back from Catharine the next day saying that the date that I was looking at worked because there was a team coming in that same day and to check to see if I could get on their flight from Amsterdam to Entebbe. With my ticket already booked, I checked to see if it was the same flight. It was. So instead of flying to Uganda alone and going through the customs and visa lines alone, I'll be with a whole team. That's if I can find them in the airport, of course. I'm debating on holding some sort of obnoxious airport sign like, "Do you know about Hope Alive! Come say 'Hi'" or something like that.

Phone: I need a specific kind of phone to use in Uganda. My friend Jill answered a huge prayer when she said that she had one that I could take with me there. That was detail #1. There was a slight incident where the phone got dropped and was left outside in the rain for a day. Details details. Because of this, Jill wasn't sure if it would work as it wasn't turning on for her. She brought it up when she came to Lynchburg this past weekend. We took it to the AT&T store to see if they could get it to work. I prayed throughout our visit but deep down, I knew it'd work. Why? Because why would God stop here? He's seriously done so much. I knew that it would work. The AT&T worker came back and said that he found no problems. My God is big into details.

Selling my stuff: A big stresser is getting rid of the things that I still have which consist of my desk, dresser and car. The desk and dresser were pretty much goners within hours. The car is the biggie. I really want to sell it as is and not for parts. Selling it for parts would be a whole new stress that I have no idea how to do. I put all three of these up on craigslist last week. Within hours, the e-mails were pouring in. I'm still negotiating stuff with the car but I have about four people checking it out. He absolutely amazes me.

There's so many other things but truly, I can't bring my mind think. My mind right now is just going going going. If I'm sitting still, my mind seems to take that as a cue to just run through every other possible thing that I should be doing. While my mind is overwhelmed with all that I should be doing, it doesn't seem to be connecting with everything else. All of this still seems surreal. In one week I will be flying out of Lynchburg, leaving eight years of memories and friendships behind. In two weeks, I will be taking a one way flight to Uganda. When exactly will this seem real? Hopefully soon. It'll make all the goodbyes seem more real. 

Of all the unknowns that still remain, there are some things that I do know. I know that I have a faithful God. He hasn't brought me through all of this, made all of this happen to just leave me thousands of miles away from everything I know. That's not my God. My God is not only preparing me for Uganda, but is preparing Uganda for me. He will not just go with me but will stay with me. As I long for true friends who are thousands of miles away, He will become my Best Friend. As confusion of the culture and life overwhelm me, He will be my comfort and guide. I have to completely rest in HIM. This will be hard. I know it. He's stripping everything that I know away and taking me where He truly wants me. 

(this blog took me DAYS to write. when will I be able to focus again!? :))

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Bestest Boogs

I'm sitting here comfortably inside while the weather outside is raging. The sound of the heavy rain, the rumbles thunder, the flashes of lightning. It's an intense storm! Tomorrow, I'm heading to Charlotte to visit Laura and Dar. Laura and I determined long ago when we were roommates my sophomore year of college that we were destined to be forever friends. As my time to leave is drawing nearer and nearer, I know that this will be the last time that I see her and Dar for at least the next two years. I'm excited to spend the weekend with them and am REALLY excited to get to go to a doctor's appointment with them and hear Hudson's heartbeat!

I've been thinking over different memories with Laura to put on here. We first met when she walked in the dorm room. She was the random freshman that my friend and I were to have in our room. It's the dread of every student: a random freshman in your room. Over the course of the months, we realized that we clicked and got along great. At some point, I think Laura called me a booger or something. This got shortened to "boogs" and it just became our name for the other. The next year, we were both Spiritual Life Directors but on different sides of campus. That year we met once a week to catch up, be accountable, etc. I cherished those times together. It was a chance amidst the insanity of life to share my struggles, thoughts and just life. Our friendship has always been based on authenticity and realness. These conversations set the foundation for that and it continues to this day. As Dar and Laura started dating when her and I were roommates, I've gotten to know him over the years as well. Because of this, their wedding was one of my favorites. I was honored to watch their relationship that was so strong in the Lord that it drew them together in Him. They became a model relationship for me and I admired them for it. It's awesome to see how they balance the other out. As they've lived in Charlotte for the past few years, it's been a test to see how our friendship will last when a part. With our great foundation and commitment to our friendship, she's one of the people that I keep up with the most. Once we discovered Skype, it took it to a whole new level! One of my favorite things is video chatting with her and Dar. It makes me feel like we're just chillin' on their couch in Charlotte talking about life, God and everything under the sun. No matter where the other has been, we've always kept in touch. As she's about to have her first child and as I'm about to move to Uganda, we both know that change is coming quickly. Lasting friendships change with each other through life's different stages. I'm so excited to pray and care for Laura even though we're thousands of miles apart. One of the hardest parts about leaving is that I won't be here when Laura has Hudson. I've always wished to be there to help Laura along the way as well as care for her children when I could. Though I'll mainly see Hudson through Skype, I already know that because of who his parents are, he will be loved and cared for. Aunt Sarah will just have to send the lovin' thousands of miles away. These kinds of friends are treasures that one holds onto forever. Forever friends, indeed. Bestest Boogs.

On a Uganda update, once all of the verbal commitments are in, I'm good to go! So, Lord willing, a ticket will be bought soon!! Yesss! :) I have an idea now of when I'll get to go, it just needs to become official. When it does, you'll know. Trust me. I'll be shouting from some rooftops near you.

Laura and I!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Eye of the Storm

I recently had a conversation with a friend and they asked how I was doing with this whole waiting to go to Uganda deal. I told them that I feel as though I'm in the eye of the storm. I'd say that it was the calm before the storm but, let's be honest here, there was a storm before this too. This whole process of support raising is a rollercoaster with storms of its own. Right now, there's this calm. I have no more churches to speak at (unless any of you know of any that are dying to hear me talk about Uganda?). I'm done with speaking at small groups. I'm not done support raising but I'm pretty much done with the traveling every weekend and speaking a few times a week part. Ahh, the eye. It's anticipating the insanity of when my flight gets bought and all craziness breaks lose as I figure out when I'm going (at last!), say goodbye to all of my dear friends here, fly back home to Iowa, and pack everything I need for two years into two suitcases. It's knowing that whenever I arrive in Uganda, it is going to be NUTS in that everything will be different from what I have ever known, everything being new and an entire life change. 

So...welcome to the eye. Ahhh. It's nice. It's a chance for me to READ (as seen in the previous post). It's a chance for me to catch up with my friends; have quality goodbye's instead of rushed ones. I've been taking this time to get everything ready for me to go when the time comes. God has already taught me so much and transformed me in numerous ways. He's definitely not done yet. He continually shows me that He's in control. I have no clue how the rest of the support is going to come in. I know that He knows. I know that He's in control. I know that it will be Spirit led. I'm excited to see how He's going to do it! 

Now, onto a new book: "Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty".