Tuesday, May 20, 2008

“better happy and poor than rich and unhappy”

as i took in the conversation that was taking place in the ‘living room’ of a woman named Florence and her friend Grace, and i was struck by Grace’s words.

“better happy and poor than rich and unhappy”

i feel like this woman, who is one of the most gracious women i have ever met in my life, gets it. she gets what life is about and what life is not about. though she’s never been rich…she’s seen the rich and she’s seen their attitudes, she’s seen their lifestyles…she’s seen their choices. it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that just because you have ‘stuff’ doesn’t mean you’re satisfied or happy with it all.

these women are absolutely delightful and as i spend time with them, whether for a short or long time, i have gathered many things, one of them being this: they understand the things that matter most in life more than most Westerners will ever understand.

their homes are humble and wonderful.

their families are large and welcoming.

their unique personalities outweigh their present circumstances.

their hard work is something to be mirrored.

i have done a lot of observing lately and i continue to recognize that these bodies, these lives, are fleeting and more temporary than we are able to conceive. though problems and hard situations tempt us all into thinking that this is all there is, there is a voice that’s calling out much louder than those that tempt.

the voice is loud and the voice is full of power and strength. it’s proclaiming that we were made for more and that if we, through Jesus Christ, are able to persevere until we are in our eternal home in heaven, he will show us that it was all worth it. not to ‘prove himself’ right but to declare how good he is and that the earth was just a ‘stop’ on the endless journey.

* * *

i know i don’t need to explain this to everyone but i’m going to share it with you because it’s means a lot me. this life that i am living here in the States is no different than the life i live in the States. i say that to mean this: i am not on a ‘trip’ to Uganda. i am living in Uganda. feeling led by the Lord, i decided to move here. though i was born in America, it is not my home. as followers of the Lord i think we all need to, in big and small, ways learn what that really means. whether it’s following him to get a summer job at a bookstore or whether it’s following his lead to move to Africa for some time…it’s all following and it’s all vital. so just as some of you commend me for ‘braving it’ and coming here, i commend you for being in America if that is where you believe are to remain.

though i have mission, i am not on a missions trip. i hope that you all can understand that. you may feel called to live in the States, i feel called to live in Uganda. apart from a silly physical location, that does not put me in a different place than you. we are all heading in the same direction…we are all after the same thing and that’s a simple and pure pursuit of the heart of God.

* * *

as i was reading the book of James out loud to the girls tonight, i found myself reading words that could not ring truer in my life than now. it’s remarkable how God chooses to present to you what you need to hear. though convictions are not always an enjoyable time, i find myself grateful for them. change doesn’t really come about without conviction and because i’m convinced that God is not a static God, i embrace change…i embrace convictions. though i find myself stumbling through how to work everything out, i know in my heart that all i have to do is seek out the gentle hand of God to lead me.

i work hard and try and get my jumbled thoughts into words for you all but i know i may not be too great at it sometimes. i’m trying; thanks for sticking with me. (:

my sister Ashley [who just graduated from the university of Kansas in the top 10% of her class] will be coming here in just about 3 weeks. it’s soon and i am excited! many things will be changing in the next month…mainly people coming and going…but all in all, i think it’ll be a fun adventure. but what else could i really expect?

…life is an adventure in and of itself.

may love lead you all.