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Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Through the years We all will be together, If the Fates allow."

Apparently the "Fates" aren't "allowing" this one... So I figured I need to document this story before I forget about it and it just become another one of those "remember the time" stories...

Twas the week before Christmas and all through creature was packing, packing like a mouse. (Dont know what that means but I needed it to rhyme.)

The presents were packed in the luggage with care. In hopes in America, it would all arrive there.

Passengers were all nestled snug in the plane. While visions of snow danced in my brain.

And feet in their flip flops and I in my t-shirts, had just settled down to listen to Matt Wertz.

When in Amsterdam arose such a clatter, I sprang to the departure board to see what was a matter.

"Canceled," blinked on the screen so bright , And a scream I muffled with all my might.

Away to the Customer service bar I flew like a flash. Tore through the lines offering bling bling or cash.

"No flights today, I'll have you know." "Good grief" I thought of the new-fallen snow.

I rang a call to my home far from here, Awoke my father did in wonder and fear.

I shared the news of my canceled flight, and tears fell quickly hindering my sight.

When what to my wandering eyes should appear, The store H&M was ever near.

Off went the flip flops from my frozen toes, on went the boots and warm winter clothes.

Out of the airport I busted a move, zipped and buttoned my coat, I behooved.

Below zero the crazy temp read, my body was frozen...pinky toe to head.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be Hotel Valk.

Our shuttle drove us to a large hotel, I scampered inside to see it so well.

Back in the cold I shivered and froze, while Amsterdam awaited, I wrinkled my nose.

Hussle and Bussle went the shoppers around. I walked and saw what was all this town.

As nighttime fell on the streets so dark, my train wouldn't budge and stayed in park.

A man on the tracks caused many delays. "Of course" I thought and headed back in the maze.

Finally a bus came out of the street, but many a stops did he need to meet.

After 50 or so stops the bus needed to make, ours was the last and oh my head ached.

Three hours till 'home' or hotel I should say, into bed I plopped...oh what a day!

The next morning I rose thinking "Today is the day", but all flights were cancelled... again I would stay.

A day in the city didn't seem all that bad, till delays on the train irritated me a tad.

Back to the hotel the bus tried to crawl, for into the snow it was luck of the draw.

Tomorrow means home... it IS the day. Almost Christmas....Please Pray Pray Pray !

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

T-minus 3 days.

Nerves. Phew. I’ve got them.

Those silly little butterflies. They get me every time.

I’m spending my last few days in Kenya packing and finishing up some projects for my team, all the while these nerves keep surfacing, forcing me to face the nerves caused by one question: “What’s it going to be like?” The last time I faced this question; I was all packed and stepping one foot on a plane while one foot still on American soil.

The last time I was in America was almost a year ago. Whats it going to be like? Whats it going to be like to be back in America? To be around friends? To be around family.?

To be..out of Africa?

Of course its only for 3 weeks, but I still wonder.

I’m already praying for my expectations. That they would not exist. Expectations get me every time. I anticipate and dream up a perfect scene, a perfect life and yet it rarely ever is perfect. But even though it’s not perfect, that doesn’t mean that it is bad. It’s my own expectations that cause me to sometimes overlook the good and wish for my expectations to be fulfilled.

I was talking with a co-worker the other day about how Africa truly changes you. He put it in i n t e r e s t i n g words. “You’re ruined” he said. What a way to put it and yet it sounds like a perfect word to use. Not as in ruined physically, socially, or even spiritually. Ruined in the sense that things I once valued now have a whole new meaning in my life… or none at all. The way I view the world is different then when I first arrived.

I never knew when I first arrived that my eyes would see so much pain…and redemption. Never knew that my feet would walk in the footsteps of so many incredible men and woman of God. Never knew that I would rub shoulders with witch doctors and warriors. Never knew how many people were so eager and in need to hear the Good News.

Just wonder how its changed me and what it will be like to suddenly collide with the life I lived before I came out here. Guess I’ll find out in 4 days! :)

Please be praying with me for my preparations for leaving, safe travels, and a loss of expectations! Thank you.

I can’t wait to see many of you soon!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One life

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

This season... Choose Joy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We 3 Kings...

Monday, December 7, 2009

I made a big mistake... assuming that Kenya doesn't 'Deck the Halls' like America....

Some great friends and I were walking through some stores and we found Santa! There were Elves, and Christmas Carolers...who knew???

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Tuesday, December 1st was World Aids Day. Its a day dedicated to remembering those who suffer with AIDS, who have died because of AIDS, lost a loved one because of Aids or who have been orphaned by AIDS.

AIDS is all over the world, and especially rampant in Africa.

When I was in college I had the privilege to help start a campaign at our school to raise awareness and have a week dedicated to opening student's eyes about AIDS in Africa and it's effects on people. We focused on children who have lost their parents because of AIDS:

AIDS Orphans.

We worked side by side with World Vision and their Acting On AIDS department. We made tshirts which were simple but impactful. All it said was "ORPHAN" Each shirt came with a fact about AIDS Orphans in Africa...

And finally on World AIDS day we asked everyone to wear the tshirt. Each tshirt representing an AIDS Orphan. It gave me goosebumps to step foot on my campus that day and see hundreds and hundreds of red tshirts which doned the word, ORPHAN.

Click {HERE} for World Vision's AIDS site. I would encourage you to research more for yourself about AIDS and its impact on this continent... and if you dare, watch this video:

In the time it takes to watch that video...
10 children were orphaned by AIDS.

The facts and the video above will make you feel uncomfortable and break your heart. Let it. These are real people going through this. Allow yourself to hurt with these mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters. Pray for them.

Remember the least of these...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Matthew Twenty Five: Forty

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I read a statistic today...

.... 3.5 Billion gallons of fresh water are spent daily to water golf courses around the world.

People in places like Africa.... can't even find 5.

(((( How is this ok? ))))

Its not.

Monday, November 23, 2009

We're All In This Together

I realize this event already happened. But the trailer is worth the watch. Just makes me think... is what I'm doing enough? It's a good reminder... we're all in this together.

I also can't get this verse out of my head...

"As long as you did it for the least of these,
you did it for me."
(Matthew 25:40)

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Every once in a while I turn my faucet on and the water comes out like this….

Anyone care to take a sip? It would probably knock you out for a few days, just one glass of this. The nice thing is is that I have a filter to filter this water and make it drinkable. Its probably a 20 minute purifying process, and yet I complain. I often think how easy it was to just turn the faucet on at home and put my glass under and drink away…. Or better yet, skip the glass, put my head under the faucet, and drink away!

But imagine if THAT glass of water above was the only option you had?
Hmm, lets put ourselves in another world for a moment.
Lets imagine...

Imagine yourself in the middle of Africa, with a family… 5 or 6 children perhaps? All of which are relying on you to sustain them and provide. What is essential to life? Water. But what if there wasn’t any around? How far would you go to provide this simple thing for your family? Would you walk a half a day’s walk to the nearest hole in the ground and sit there as the water trickles into your cup, slowly, slowly filling until you can dump that cup into your can and watch it slowly fill up?

What if you spent the next half of the day under the heat of the sun with a 25 lbs can of water on your back, returning to your home hoping that your children made it through the day?

And what if that water that you just spent half of your day searching for was as brown as the glass of water above?

What if you had to worry as you gave it to your children if that water would give them the nourishment they need, or take their life because of disease?

How can something so simple, be so complicated?

Its just water….right?

I spent a few days with these people who are in constant search for water. They live in the desert and their lives are enslaved to finding water. They walk miles and miles a day to find gather water. Sometimes they reach the well to find that it is empty and have to return home with nothing. Other times they reach the well to find out that it is poisoned, and again return home with nothing.

I complain that it takes 20 minutes to filter my water.

I complain that the water sometimes runs brown.

Is something wrong with this picture?

….of course.

I might feel like I can “relate” to these people who have dirty water, but reality is, I walk 10 steps, turn on a faucet and out comes dirty water. They walk miles and miles for hours and hours, get on their hands and knees and pull water up from a well with their blistered hands and aching backs… to get that dirty water.

If you are like me, you see these huge world issues and want to tackle them all, get really fired up, but then have no idea how to approach the issue, feel defeated, and go on with your life wishing you could have figured out a way. But, there are organizations out there to help with these issues. They show you how you can help in little baby steps. And helping one person’s life is better than giving up because you couldn’t help everyone’s!

This isn’t me saying “Go do this or else!” but I know what its like to feel helpless yet want to help. Here’s an organization that was introduced to me by my friend’s sister.

Its called “Water4Christmas.” Give water for Christmas. Just $20 can provide water for someone for 20 years. And not water like they are used to, but the type of water that makes you fit your head under the faucet and let the water fill your mouth.

THAT kind of water!

Water4Christmas is a fundraiser through the organization, “Charity Water.” I just love their idea of giving water for Christmas. And it makes it so easy to do so! You can give water yourself, or how about for those people that are hard to buy for, why not give water to someone for $20 in the name of that person?

To find out more, click ((((here))))

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yummy Sweet Potato recipe

Howdy! So I know Thanksgiving is in less than a week and HEY, Kenya has real sweet potatoes! Always something to be thankful for! :) I found this amazing recipe that could be a fun twist to the original sweet potato casserole...or a great addition! I made it last night with my neighbors and they loved it.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries (Adapted from Martha Stewart).

As many sweet potatoes as you want to make
2 egg whites
Chili powder

{How to make it}
Preheat oven to about 375
-Cut sweet potatoes in half, then slice to look like french fries (keep skin on)
-Put in micro-wave safe dish and microwave for 2 mins, stir and 2 mins more
-Mix egg whites with chili-powder (you can make as spicy or not as you want)
-Oil cookie sheet with olive oil
-Toss sweet potatoes in shifts into egg mixture, lift out with fork and let extra egg white drip
-Lay on cookie pan till finished with all "fries"
-drizzle honey all over (yum)
-sprinkle with a little bit of salt
-bake till soft on the inside and crispy on the outside! :)

If you want to make it more like the sweet-potato casserole, make up some "dip" to dip the fries in using marshmallow Fluff (yeah momma moose!) and chopped pecans with some brown sugar!

They are pretty fabulous, not gonna lie! :) I might be making them again soon... at least while real sweet potatoes last in Kenya!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yes, Christmas music is all over my ipod...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Psalm Thirteen:5

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Karibu (welcome) to my Crib"

My sister reminded me today that I have yet to post where I'm living (My house, obviously you know the country... ) So in as much "Crib" style as I can, "Welcome to my Crib."

I live in a very tiny house on one of the missionary compounds. Unfortunately, I have a really long frustrating commute to work, all 30 seconds of it! :) Yep, all I have to do in the morning is walk out my front door, through a gate, up a little lane and in the front door of my office! Its pretty fantastic, not gonna lie! Because of how small my house is, photographic angles to capture these pictures were pretty limited, sooo I'll try to give you little details.

Welcome to my bathroom (ha, I feel funny typing this out. Anyways....)

Thanks to my mom for bringing out this fun shower curtain and matching bathmat! (Nothing fancy... around the corner is the toilet, sink, mirror and thats about all that could fit in there!)

Welcome to my Kitchen (yep, still feel funny...)

I never got around to painting the kitchen... sigh. But I was able to convert my old shower curtain into actual window curtains to try to brighten the place up! And thanks to Target (I miss you, Target) I have a nice rug to match the curtains. That apron is made by my friend Esther! It has all these cool little squares of African Fabric....makes baking all the more fun!

I got these frames from a missionary friend...they also help brighten up the kitchen...I miss those people in that picture a whole heck of a lot!

And this is my tea jar that I got from that cool glass place, Kitengela Glass! I also have a sugar jar, splenda jar, Chai tea Jar, and a popcorn jar...I learned how to make popcorn without a microwave!!! Woot Woot! :)

Welcome to my room!

I live on a single level house and so my windows, which are covered up by those curtains, are about 20 feet away from our gate, I obviously keep those closed haha. The funny looking texture on the wall is actually made from my light overhead! I love these lights... cool handmade twine light fixtures that I bought from a friend!

My quilt is another handmade beauty by my friend Esther! I just love the amazing rich colors that go into her quilts and that all the fabric is from different African countries! Just love it...

And over my head hangs this cool handmade frame that I had a different idea of what to do with it, but I liked this better.... inside are some more K-glass hanging vases with some red Gerber Daisies inside (thanks to my mom who sent them over with Hannah and Catherine! :) )

"Beeep Beeeep"

Whats that you hear? Oh, that's just my ride....pretty spiffy, huh? It has this amazing anti-theft feature on it called no "No Hubcaps So I Look Ghetto And No One Will Want To Steal." Device. And get this... that Device was FREE! Who would have thought??? Another safety feature is "Waiting To Clean Your Car But Once a Month"....I added that anti-theft feature myself!

And to wrap up the house...welcome to my living room!

I have to take the picture in two parts since its too small to take one of the whole thing. The room has a fireplace in the center that has yet to work....however I cleaned it out today and am going to attemempt to start a fire tonight to go with my Christmas movie, tea, and working on some design work...

First half...

Second half....

These frames are my favorite! They are made out of weathered African wood....My friend, "Mr. Handsome, " (I honestly have never gotten his real name out of him, this is what he tells everyone to call him) makes them and sells them at the market... really fun!

And of course, the house wouldn't be complete without little bit of holiday decoration....thanks to my mom, me and half of the missionaries in Nairobi have pumpkins to celebrate autumn and Thanksgiving! :) I have all mine on my fireplace and it really makes the place look "fall-ish!"

Well, thats the tour... all four rooms of it ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"So, what do you do in Africa?" .... I'm glad you asked...

OFM Trailer from AIM On-Field Media on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

silly swahili

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Choosing Joy

Don't you love the excitement of a book? The story unfolds as quickly as your eyes skim the page. You are able to pause the story or speed up to the anticipated ending. Each chapter has its own theme, a life of its own, a new story that twists and turns your soul which ever way the author intends.... and you fall for it , no matter how many times the book has been read. You start each new chapter with eagerness of the unknown. "How will it end, how will it be redeemed, how will it all fit together?"

I often find myself talking with my very own personal Author, Jesus Christ. I'm that annoying book fanatic who's always asking the same questions with the utmost curiosity..."How will it end, how will it be redeemed, how will it all fit together?" I like to think its my right to know all the answers before I get to read the final chapter.... but alas, how boring would a book be if the dramatic ending was spoiled with in the first chapter?

Christ seems to be taking me through a new chapter..... I'd like to call it "Choosing Joy." In my morning devotions everything seems to be about joy. Ok, let me pause first and talk about the word, Joy. Don't you love the word? I do.... it seems joy bursts out of the word in its self. When I hear that word I just cant help but feel joy. I guess its like an onomatopoeia to me? You know, how the word zip almost sounds like the sound that an actual zipper makes when it, well, zips. Or like.... well, you get it, I'll spare you my thought process ;) So yes, the word, Joy just makes me feel joy.

This chapter isn't exactly the easiest but its just as important as any other because the Author wrote it before time. Like I said, my morning devotions have been surrounded by the idea of joy and challenging me to find joy in all circumstances, all the time, no exception. I've been trying to think of tangible ways to find joy in all circumstances, even the ones I don't feel are worthy of that simple, beautiful word, joy. And then it hit me one day...praising God. Giving him praise in all circumstances, allowing Him to be the reason for my joy, not joy (or lack of it) the reason for my attitude. Rearranging my thinking and striving to praise God in all circumstances and find joy in my praise for Him alone. Sometimes I don't feel like giving God praise when things don't seem to be going my way, but its not about me... I need to praise him despite that and allow joy to fill the void.

A few mornings ago I read this during my devotions: "Then came these thoughts: I was to ignore my feelings and act on principle. I was to do it despite the lack of joy-simply because God told me to. True praise grows out of recognition and acknowledgment that in His time God will bring good out of bad. I am to turn my back on the bad and face the good, and begin actively to praise God for it as Scripture commands. Following that, joy began spilling over into the tiny everydayness of my life." -Catherine Marshall (Author).

I've been trying, its not easy, but I've been trying to chose joy and praise God in ALL circumstances. I've been feeling another wave of "loneliness" begin to hit, not sure why, not sure of its purpose right now, but I'm trying to praise God for it and to find joy in this time.

This morning I decided to listen to a Podcast sermon, the only one that I had on my ipod was a sermon series by Pastor Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church..... can you guess what the sermon series is focusing on? No, seriously, take a guess....three letters. Yep, you got it right, Joy. :) Ha, I had to laugh... oh, and just wait, it gets even better! I found a specific sermon that seemed to by crying out, "Listen to me, oh oh oh, pick me, pick me!" It was called "A Rebel's Guide to Joy in Loneliness." I mean, really.... why would I pick a different one when that one had Kate Joyce written all over it? :) And of course, I was praising God for that sermon. Of course it talked about joy and it talked about loneliness but one of the things that Driscoll said in it allowed me to take a deep breathe. He said something along the lines of, "Have you thought, that maybe, perhaps, God is LEADING you through this time of loneliness because he wants you solely to Himself? To grow you, to mold you, to prune you, and to make you more like Him? He loves you THAT much that He is taking you through this time of loneliness, and THAT in itself might be the purpose." Wow. Ummm, I'll take that! :)

Its hard to believe that times like this, where I don't see an outward purpose or can't comprehend an answer to the "why's" of life, that God is choosing to shape me and mold me to be more like Him. I want to chose joy in this because of who He is, not because of what he has done or will do, but simply because of who He is.

I want to radiate that joy. I feel like that would be an honor to be able to bare witness to Christ through visible joy that I radiate out of praise because of who Christ is. I'm working on it... we'll see how long this chapter is... I tend to be a slow reader ;)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Thousand Pictures are worth how many words?

They say, "A pictures' worth a thousand words" ... so I'm guessing that a thousand pictures are worth 1,000,000 words??? I realized that I've never put up links to my pictures. Once I'm home for Christmas I'll work on uploading them to flickr, but for now.... Just click on the album name..... Happy viewing! (Don't worry.... there aren't a thousand pictures to look through!)


Thursday, October 29, 2009


I don't know how it's slipped my mind to mention this, but can you guess whats happening in about 7 weeks?

Here are some clues....






Yep, "I Will Be Home For Christmas!"

I cannot tell you how EXCITED I am :)