I haven't really blogged about our life for a long time. When this happens, I start to reflect on why it's so hard to write. I would say that our busy schedule is the reason, but it's really more than that.
Sometimes it is just hard to express how I feel. I've noticed that when I don't write on the blog, there is usually a reason. It is often that I am processing my feelings and wondering what I am being called to do next. Alyssa and I have been working on The Sparkle Project, and our first project was to raise money for girls in Ethiopia to be sponsored to go to school. It was a huge success. It felt great to work on something with purpose and know that our efforts were making a difference in the lives of girls in Ethiopia.
So, what else has been on my mind? Ethiopia. It's the time of year when consumerism and materialism really gets to me. I enjoy shopping and gift giving. I love to celebrate the holidays. I treasure the decorations, family traditions, and treats. I am working extra hard to make sure that our family celebrates the true meaning of Christmas, but it's so easy to forget...so easy to get caught up. Yesterday I found myself at a store wandering aimlessly to find a few more gifts for the kids...really? I was just wandering...they need nothing...
And ...then my heart remembers Ethiopia. How can I worry about having the perfectly decorated house when people that I know living in Ethiopia have this house to decorate?
How do I complain about having to do holiday grocery shopping and meal preparing when this is the local grocery store that many will visit in Ethiopia?
Preparing holiday meals and treats is a lot of work...how can I complain about it when others across the world prepare even their grain from scratch and have just enough to get by?
Sure I would love a few new and improved kitchen gadgets or appliances this holiday season, but do I need them? This is the kitchen at the orphanage Grace was at. They served about fifty people from this kitchen. Notice the water source?
Part of the excitement of the holiday season is experiencing the holidays through the eyes of my children. I can't help but think of these children, who are working daily to help provide for their families.
And Christmas gifts, well, I can only hope that my own kids appreciate the blessings and special gifts that they will receive this Christmas as much as these sweet street boys did when we gave them a soccer ball. It was a treasure to them. They were so full of joy!
So, there you have it. That's what has been on my mind. I know that my lack of posting has something to do with a heavy heart. I miss Ethiopia. I miss seeing the love, joy and hope that the people in Ethiopia have. Having experienced Africa and coming home is a juggling act. You never want to forget, get complacent, or stop serving. I know that "I need Africa more than Africa needs me..."