The month in Uganda crunched me a little, left me staggering and in critical need of rest and repair. I knew it before I departed for our side of the world. So I’ve slept. I’ve taken some leisure and I’ve travelled to the eastern shore of America to soak up the wonders of the beach. I stood out of bed this morning and realized maybe I’ve regained my balance. I was ready to blog. I’m coming up for air. Really, like the turtle that I am, I’m coming out of my shell.
I spent a lot of time in my shell thinking and processing. Mostly I’ve been journaling to myself to see what is willing to come out. And what I keep finding is there will always be problems, but there is also so much wonder and amazement in the work God does. Where I felt flattened by the struggles and trials and maybe could have stayed down for the count God picked me up by the collar and said, “look over there, fix your eyes on this, trust me, and go forward.”
If I try to understand everything my mind could implode so I agree to focus only on what he has before me is the only way I can proceed. What a lovely view it is. We’ve got freedom from some former problems and a clear road to take care of fourteen children who are blossoming before our eyes into beautiful creatures that they were meant to be before they were burdened with the labor of an adult and the struggles of extreme poverty. Where before they came to live in the care of Kirabo Seeds they were spending their days caring for toddlers, finding firewood, hauling water, and working hard, now they are able to be children. They are doing well in school, learning to get along as a family, playing, drawing, reading and singing songs. They are loved, fed, sheltered, and protected. Now that is all the reason I need to come out of my shell and battle away the enemies and continue to protect them from the selfish ambition of others who would like to take what belongs to them. Isn’t that hard to believe? It’s true. And I’m willing to fight hard.
But no fighting today. I’m half way through a week at the beach. Every morning I rise with the sounds of the waves and sit in the dark to watch pink light fill the sky and a florescent orange orb rise out of the water edge on the horizon, almost dripping wet. The salt air, the breeze, the crashing waves, long walks with my dog and hours sitting with Kira anticipating the waves and making pfhishh sounds when they crash before us…those are my daily ambitions.
While in Florida in February Kira was afraid of the ocean, she screamed when it came near her, and pointed her little finger and yelled, “no” when the waves considered touching her toes. Now she’s finding the pleasure of the waves crashing in and rolling out over her and around her legs. Beautiful smiles erupt in her face and she’s found the joy of the seaside. She can spend hours with a single bucket, shovel water and sand. I am content to just watch her experience the beach. And mostly I am overjoyed to simply be mom and wife this week. I have no other hats to wear and it’s a sweet treat for me. I’m taking all I can get of watching the big kids skim board, play in the pool and wander the beach. I bike to the fruit stand and sit with a book while Kira naps. By the time I get home I will be more than ready to dive back into my work. This is the first vacation I’ve taken as a working mom. How interesting after all these years of beach weeks to experience it in such a way that I am not working but simply enjoying being with my family. It takes on a different intensity. I like it.