Category Archives: Faith

Experiencing Her First Steps

Faith beamed as she received her walker, balancing on her bare feet in the grass while holding onto her new treasure. Her smile was infectious, and the excitement of the students gathered around her could not be missed. Solomon, head of the special needs clinic at Tenwek, knelt proudly next to her, ready to show her how the new walking frame worked. Just moments later, we would witness Faith take her very first steps.

Continue Reading


Share

Tomorrow

I woke early this morning feeling anxious. That’s natural, though, for any move. I’ve moved enough times in the last ten years to know. The only difference is this time the move is a little bigger. The distance is greater, yes, but this move means so much more than any other move I’ve made. So yes, I’m anxious. But I also fully trust this is the most natural thing I could be doing with my family. And I deeply, deeply trust that this is the very thing¬†God designed me to do.

Continue Reading


Share

An Empty House

Tomorrow morning nearly all of our furniture will be loaded onto a trailer and moved down to Rochester. We have dear friends who just moved back from Ethiopia, so it’s going to a very good home, which makes the parting a bit easier. I’m really not very attached to this furniture. We’ve only had any of it for 15 months. It was all purchased on Craigslist and Wayfair and was only meant to be in our possession for a short time. So no, I’m not attached to the furniture itself. But today, as I get ready for it to be carried out of the house, I realize I am attached to it in a different sort of way.

I love these little pieces of home because of how well they’ve helped make our house a home. First it was our little apartment on London Road a year ago, and now it’s this three bedroom condo over the hill. We’ve all cuddled on the couch watching movies. We’ve gathered around the kitchen table eating meals and doing homework. We’ve fallen asleep, all four of us, on the bottom, twin-size bunk in Ella’s room. These pieces hold memories of the home we’ve made, and now we’re passing them to our friends, who will make new memories with them. That is the sweet part of sending this trailer down the road.

The hard part is what it means to live for the next few weeks in a nearly empty house. It means this transition is real. We’ll soon be boarding a plane, moving between our home here in Duluth and our home-to-be in Kenya. I’ve been dreaming of this move nearly my entire life. Almost everything I’ve done in the last few months has been in preparation for leaving. I’ve packed boxes to be donated, given to friends, put into storage, and loaded into suitcases for Kenya. All the kids clothes have been purchased for the next two years, school has been planned, and new quilts for the kids’ beds have been sewn. I’ve tried to think of every detail, even though I know there are lots of things I can’t possibly think of until we’re actually doing life at Tenwek.

I think having a transition into this wild simplicity a few weeks before our move will be an adventure for us all. We don’t mind the feeling of making things work, and this is no different. Pete and I will share an air mattress, Ella will have her own, and Sam has his toddler mattress on the floor, as usual. Our clothes will be moved into bins and boxes, as will toys and books. We’ll still have our couch until the move, so a whole lot of cuddle time is on the horizon in that spot.

This transition is real. And it is soon. We’ve purchased tickets to fly out of Duluth the morning of Thursday, May 18. We won’t be heading directly to Kenya at that time, though. From Duluth, we’ll be going down to spend three weeks with multiple friends in and near Florida, including a family we grew very close to during our training in Colorado. We’ll take some of that time alone as a family to reconnect, rest, and prepare for our transition into full-time ministry. We’re incredibly thankful to be able to do this following the past seven years of Pete’s intense work schedule after med school. We’re working on finalizing our tickets to Kenya for the weekend of June 10. So the countdown is on!

As I feel these emotions stir – excitement, anticipation, nervousness – I find myself continuously asking God to focus my heart. All of these feelings are good and to be expected, but I want to keep my focus on the One who has called us to East Africa. I want to continue to prepare well, but not at the cost of missing these last weeks in Duluth. I want to dream about being there, but not to the point where I lose sight of what God has right in front of me. I know it’s okay to be nervous, but I don’t want to allow that nervousness to get in the way of fully trusting God every step along the way. Twenty-eight days remaining before we leave this city I so dearly love. Every one of those days, and all the days beyond, have been counted and are surely known by our Father.

Jesus, you called me to this path as a little girl, and I’m ready to go. Just help me with all these emotions in the transition. We’ll be there soon!

 

 


Share

A Day to Celebrate!

A year ago, Ella asked us if she could be baptized after seeing a baptism at our church. We talked about what baptism means and why people choose to do it. She was very enthusiastic, but we wanted to wait until she was a little older to make sure she fully understood the choice. She continued to ask about her own baptism about once a month through the entire year, and near the end of the summer, we decided it was time. We made sure Pete had the weekend off for it in October and invited Ella’s grandparents and godparents. We were getting ready for a celebration!

img_3044

Baptisms are done at our church every few months during the regular service. This particular weekend was especially fun because the incredibly talented group The Neverclaim was in town for a show and led worship the morning of Ella’s baptism.

img_3045

When it was time for the baptisms, our lead pastor and good friend, Michael, explained what it means to be baptized and invited those who wished to be baptized to head to the front of the auditorium. Most of them had previously met with a pastor to talk through the scripture behind baptism and to pray.

img_3054

A few days before, I had asked if Pete could be a part of baptizing Ella. Watching this scene right here while snapping a few pictures made me cry. How could it not?!

img_3065

And this. The moment she came up out of the water. Ella was so excited and the entire auditorium was cheering! You can see Luke & Hannah holding Sam, my dad in the background taking pictures, and the kids’ long-time nanny, Donna, and her husband clapping. Pete’s parents were there, and Ella’s godmother, Kristin. All people who have taught our girl about Jesus, helped guide her, and have been a part of shaping her into the beautiful young woman she is becoming.

img_3084

After the service, we went back to the community room in our old condo building for pizza and cake!

img_3070

Ella with her grandmas. I so wish I had a picture of the entire group, but I never seem to capture those photos. I need to carry a big, laminated note to all special events reminding me to get group pictures.

img_3075

The Friday before, Ella came home from school very excited. She said she got to tell her whole 2nd grade class that she was going to be baptized and what that meant. I just adore this girl’s heart.

img_3079

A very special, incredibly memorable day for our Ella!

img_3956

 

Save


Share
Design by: Bumble + Buzz Design // Copyright © The Mango Memoirs