a little over four hours till monday

Weekends are pretty cool things. The only problem I can really see with them is that that weekend-ends are weekdays, and the drudgery restarts itself.

I guess I asked for it. Lofty terms such as "good education," "intellectual," and "academically sound," float across the surface of my subconscious and I remember that I like learning. Yes, I like learning. Honest I do.

It's the time orientation that gets to me. Midterms, papers, be-in-class-at-8-sharp-or-else. Stuff like that. Call me crazy, but I love being in class. Most professors teach because they love their field of expertise, and that's so cool to me. I like just kind of soaking up all the knowledge they want to impart. Tests...I'm okay with them, but they take something away from my love of learning in some ways. I wish I could go back in time and discuss philosophy on Mars Hill or something, except that I'm female and wouldn't have been allowed.

So I'm not ready for the weekend to be over. I'm not ready to fall back into a schedule that demands my constant attention. I like being able to drift along, unaware of time. At the same time, I guess I'm pretty okay with it. My mind is reveling in all the new information, so I guess I can make it work a little at maintaining a diligent schedule.

Crazy time oriented world.


my dictionary epiphany

A few minutes ago, I needed to look up a word in a dictionary. I started to reach to turn on my computer....and my hand froze.

Wait. What was I thinking? Dictionary? A dictionary sat 4 feet away, gathering dust on a shelf. The fact that I automatically turned to the internet and dictionary.com suddenly made me sick.

Don't get me wrong. I love technology. Still, it makes me sad that I'm so wrapped up in the technology world that I won't take time to search for something within the pages of a book.

Because that's not all. I realize as I type this that I've become dependent on the internet to find so much. Sure, I could go look for a certain Bible verse in a concordance, but if I just Google this phrase...

I'm buying into an instant gratification obsession, and I hate it. God is not about instant gratification, and if I don't have the patience to search for a word, do I really have the patience it takes to seek his will day after day? I pray that I can find a balance between the external value of convenience and the internal value of perseverance.


found in him

I am changing. I can feel it like I can feel the seasons changing. It's subtle, definitely gradual, not really a bad thing. It just kind of sneaks up on me and rearranges my lifestyle. I guess it's all a part of transition.

In some ways, I'm amazed at how easy this transition has been. I moved to America from Africa - doesn't that warrant some fireworks in my emotional makeup or something? Fireworks didn't happen. Nothing really happened. The adjustment to college in America has been so easy and smooth for the most part.

That wasn't something I expected, partly because I was never one of the kids who couldn't wait to get out of the house. Up until the end, I was content to be with my family. I didn't push much to get more independence. My parents always gave me quite a bit of independence, and I was never in a big hurry to be grown up.

So it threw me for a loop when I slipped into America, college life, and much greater independence like it was something for which I'd been preparing for years. Maybe I was. Or maybe God was preparing me for it. I imagine that's a bit more likely.

And now I'm changing. I slipped into this world, and now the influences in it are shaping me. I pray that these changes are good, that my priorities are staying right. I pray that the part of me that is chasing after God's heart grows through this time, and that I become more and more like him. I want these years to lessen the parts of me that change from culture to culture and reveal the part of me that is true and unchanged by the world.

Because in the end, the important thing is not where in the world I'm found; it's that I'm found in God.


frozen hands, colder toes, lots of rain...

See that title up there? That's the way of things right now. It's getting cold. It's been in the 50s and constantly rainy today. Tomorrow looks like it'll be about the same.

Sometimes I can walk outside, stand up under the coldness, breathe in the cold air, and appreciate the freshness of it. More often, I walk out and the cold wind bites my face spitefully, trying to blow me all the way back to equatorial warmth and sunshine.

I don't know if I can get used to this. Right now, getting out from under my warm covers in the morning is an exercise in strength of will, and I hate the process of deciding what to wear. I know that whatever I choose, it won't be warm enough, and it will just get wet in Searcy's current never ending drizzle or the new Harding Sidewalks River.

You know what though? Life is okay. I'm a pretty big fan. My hands stay cold, but my heart is pretty warm. God is blessing me a whole lot. And that's really all I want to say with this rambling blog post.

Be blessed, friends.


this deserves a longer blog than I'm about to write.

Religion and politics. We don't touch them. We form opinions on them, sometimes privately and cautiously, sometimes brazenly or obnoxiously. We form opinions and then we don't talk about them in polite company.

Yeah, I understand where we're all coming from. Of course - it's obvious. We don't want to offend people, don't want to get into arguments, don't want to place strain on relationships. Yep, perfectly valid reasons - if we're going to sit back and accept the sin of pride that is threatening to take over our hearts and minds.

Pride pushes, wheedles, digs, seeps into my conversations, makes me feel like backing down would be a cop-out. I find myself arguing religion and politics every once in a while, and every time the argument is over I wish I had avoided it. I wish I'd stood up to pride a little better.

Only it doesn't work that way, does it? Standing up to pride - it's more or less impossible. That's why, at some point, we need to just let go and fall back into grace. Grace - the concept that rarely makes it into conversations about religion and politics.

Standing up to pride is itself a prideful stance; falling back on grace is a blessed surrender. I want to learn to surrender a little more and argue a little less. I want to learn to infuse my opinions with grace and speak them in love. I want to drop my pride and realize that the end goal of everything in my life is God, and only in him do any of my arguments have legitimacy.

Soften my heart, God.



I think it's the extravagance that really gets me. I look around at all the millions of ways that God made this Earth incredible where it could have simply been functional and it totally blows my mind.

I was walking along tonight, looking up at the sky and I noticed the way the light hit raindrops. It made them shine, letting them stand out against the dark sky as they fell in a haphazard dance toward the ground. That is amazing, so beautiful and perfect. And rainbows - what a crazy show-off kind of creation. It's like God is singing to us, trying to get our attention through the beauty with which he saturates our surroundings. He didn't have to paint the sky with a million brilliant colours every sunset, or create infinite different kinds of plants and animals with perfectly unique features, or infuse the tiniest organism with mind-boggling complexity. But...he did.

Creation is extravagant. It's a freewheeling love song with no end in sight, and my artistic side rejoices at the awesomeness of the ultimate Creator God.


what the Lord has done in me

It's so crazy to me to look into the past and see how much life has changed.

10 years ago, I was an accident-prone third grader in Mbale, Uganda. I definitely went through more than my share of band-aids. I think at one point, I was told that I had to bring my own band-aids to school because I used too many. I think the record was eight different injuries in one day. I couldn't stay on my feet to save my life. My head was often in the clouds, so I wasn't much good at watching where I was going. I loved being with friends. We'd make up elaborate scenarios and act them out in our front yard, or just sit around and tell stories.

5 years ago, I was 13. I think at that point, I'd just decided that believing in God was worthwhile. My faith wasn't all that strong, and it was a rough year, but I was headed in the right direction. I hung out with Lydia, Jonah, Natalie, Abby, and Zachel as much as possible. We made and ate lots of chocolate, watched a lot of movies, and created enough lame inside jokes to last a lifetime. I liked sports and writing and I think I was starting to appreciate playing the piano.

1 year ago, I was 17, and a senior in high school, still in Mbale. I still hung out with the same people sometimes, though I also spent a lot of time with the younger adults on our mission team and with Diana. The inside jokes really only got more lame. I spent a lot of time playing piano and guitar, writing poetry, running, and playing volleyball and tennis. I loved deep conversations and hard rains. I was dealing with a lot of pain, trying to reconcile the brokenness of the world around me with what I knew of God's goodness. I had applied to this one university in a small town in Arkansas because it had trees and a good study abroad program.

And now here I am. Harding University, small town Arkansas, October 2009. I'm still a bit accident prone, mostly because I have the incredible talent of tripping over flat surfaces. Inside jokes, chocolate, piano, guitar, rain, and deep conversations still make me happy. I live in America for the first time since I was 4 years old, and before I go back to Uganda for a visit I will have lived here longer than ever before. I have absolutely no doubt that God is love and is working in the world. I have so many opportunities before me, so many people to meet and places to go.

So let the weak say I am strong. Let the poor say I am rich. Let the blind say I can see. It's what the Lord has done in me, and I would not be where I am today if not for him.


faithful, you are faithful; I have found nothing but good in your heart

I went to James and Heidi's wedding in Kansas this weekend. I loved it. Everything was so radiant and full. I got to spend time with people I haven't seen in a long time, and that was just wonderful.

Growing up, I hated the fact that people came and left Mbale so quickly. I could never get used to the endless cycle of awkward hellos and painful goodbyes. Loving people when I knew they were leaving soon never got easy.

This weekend, I realized that it was all worth it. Seeing the people I grew to love in Uganda again now fills my heart with joy and my mind with memories. I watch my worlds collide and the collision is beautiful and blessed.

God is so good.



I just got back (2 minutes before curfew, thanks to the un-lovely parking situation near Stephens Hall)from hanging out with a couple of my friends, and my heart is happy. Being with people who I can sit and talk to for hours is a blessing. It brings joy up to the surface of my soul, and I just have to smile.

And I realize as I write this that people affect me so much, so deeply. I don't think I'm overly ruled by peer pressure and the opinions of those around me; for the most part, I think I pretty well know who I am and what I believe. I don't totally know how to reconcile those truths, except to say that I think people are supposed to affect us. We're supposed to be encouraged by being with other Christians. That's community.

T.I.A. - This Is Arkansas. It's not Africa. I miss Africa, but God is blessing me so greatly here with this newfound community. And there's nowhere else that I'd rather be.

"If you say go, I will go. If you say stay, I will stay. If you say 'Step out on the water,' and they say it can't be done, I'll fix my eyes on you and I will come."