Thursday, July 1, 2010

Settling In

These past few days have really been down days of settling and figuring out a new normal of life here in Kenya. The past month seems to have gone by like quite a whirlwind, full of some intense highs and even more intense lows. But by God's grace we are all still standing and moving forward in life.

This has been an interesting and humbling season of life for me. I was so intensely excited about returning to Kenya, as it has been 2 years since we were here as a family. I was excited to be able to be a part of the teams that travel around and meet with different people in communities across Kenya. I used to love traveling around and being a part of the adventure. I say used to because life has really changed much in the last several years, and children have changed the landscape of my adventure.

But I tried to keep up with the teams that were here last month, as we traveled from place to place to place. We had jet lag, sicknesses, cranky children, cranky mama, and challenging circumstances to work through. I wish that I could say that I maneuvered through them all gracefully and gently, but I did not. I was struggling through many different issues, and displayed not one fruit of the spirit for that time period.  Sigh. Sometimes I wonder if there are just some of us who are just too far gone, beyond hope of repair.

It was hard for me to let go of the notion of being able to participate with the teams and the various meetings that were going on, all the while, my three little people were calling for my attention and needing their mama to be their mama. So rather than joyfully attending to my children, I was bitter about being pulled away from the gatherings where I would be informed of things that were going on in the communities or general upcoming plans. I have really had to seek God's face in asking Him what He would have me do here and how He would have me serve. It is humbling when the response is not necessarily what I would have chosen first, as it is much less glamorous and behind-the-scenes.

And so these days I am getting settled into our house here in Nairobi and helping my girls recognize a new normal here at home. We are doing laundry by hand, which has led to bleeding knuckles that just don't seem to heal. We have ventured into the surrounding neighborhood to meet local vendors in their shabby kiosks. This will be our new grocery store, as the supermarket here is very expensive and meant for wealthy foreigners. We are foreigners, but wealthy we are not. So I will learn to buy local. We even have a small garden in the back of the house that has provided our family meals a time or two!

I am getting braver everyday about driving to a new place and discovering my way around. Today I actually drove by myself and my three little people in towards town to meet with some old friends. I drove there on one route and returned home by a different route, and did not get lost! I was immensely proud of myself for this feat! I have discovered that the key to driving in Nairobi is to be aggressive. In fact, every time I get behind the wheel of our old beast of a Land Cruiser, the old cheer runs through my head: "Be aggressive! Be, be aggressive!" I have realized that if you are brave enough to stick your nose out in traffic, you get the right of way to go first. That becomes like a dare! All kinds of fun!

So that's where we are for now. Nothing glamorous or exciting really. Not really what folks want to hear from of a missionary in the field, but this is my humble lot for today. And by God's grace, I will fill it.

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  1. too far gone--never! his grace is sufficient, his power is made perfect in weakness, and he is working all for good--even our sin and brokenness he is transforming into a beautiful mosaic of his grace.


  2. I continue to pray for you. I am currently reading the Poisonwood Bible, and while you are far far different from the family in this book there are small parts that make me think of you and the adventure you are on. Godspeed friend!

  3. you were very encouraging,i liked the way you discipled the 3 young missionaries .i was honoured to be part of the team.nick

  4. Suzannah,
    thank you for that encouraging word. sometimes we just need to be reminded of that truth.

    I have read Poisonwood Bible, and I pray that we never become like that family! hahaha! I do understand the similarity though, and that makes me smile.

    You are ever encouraging and gracious. It was so great to be with you on that time. I was so impressed by your spirit and look forward to seeing you again!

  5. Oh...on the contrary, I love hearing your missionary heart that is also occupied with children. Do most of us mamas search for significance in some way when we feel bogged down by diapers, laundry, making meals and answering a million questions a day? I think so.
    I've said it before and I'll say it again...if we change the world and do not "change the world" of our kids then we fail.
    I've come across this verse three times in less than a week, so I'll share it.
    Ps 16
    My choice is you, God, first and only.
    And now I find I'm your choice!
    You set me up with a house and yard.
    And then you made me your heir!

    Much love!


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