To me, Fridays have begun to feel the same as every other day. This not working thing is something I could get use to, however I will admit to a lot little boredom at times. I logged in to catch up on work email this morning, made it through 50 and then decided I wasn't THAT bored after all. So, instead I watched Aladdin with my breakfast. I was surprised how little I really remembered about the movie, but my takeaway was that I would like my sister to marry someone like Aladdin. He's got a good sense of humor, likes animals, and shares his bread with some homeless children. Tonight one of my all time favorite Christmasy movies, The Family Man, comes on. Not a lot of people have seen this movie I discovered, but it's like a modern twist on It's A Wonderful Life and I highly recommend it. It's coming on ABC Family tonight at 7pm EST. Now don't say I never gave you anything.
Brian is sweeping me off for a romantic getaway this evening and I am quite excited about it. I will be sure to post pictures when we get back.
I have missed this blogging world and I'm excited to be back. Life has been busy in a wonderful way but it is settling down just in time for the best month of the year.
This holiday season is particularly meaningful to me. In fact I can't recall a Thanksgiving where I felt even half as much gratitude as this past one. The feelings and effects of Africa are still unraveling for me. I think it is almost too much to comprehend while there in the thick of things, but as memories of the days spent with the children play out in my mind, I feel differently about it than I did when there. On my first night, I wrote in my journal that Africa is a sensory overload. Each individual trait about it feels manageable but the combination of it is almost too much to take in. The poverty, the children, the animals. So many things that make your heart ache, yet a happiness and dependency on Jesus that I can't quite relate to, but desire for myself. Situations that seem desperate and depressing everywhere you look, yet rejoicing and gratitude for what they have. I went to teach but I know I learned more from them than they did from me.
I left with a perspective and clarity that I didn't think was possible to have. I know it will fade as time back home goes on, but I pray it doesn't leave me completely. God's hand is in everything all the time, but with the clutter of "things" here in the states, it is easy to forget that. Africa teaches us that when all things are looked at as a blessing and faith is the priority, God's hand is visible. Without faith, I believe the enormity of their circumstances would overwhelm. The problems they face each morning -- rape, abandonment, AIDS, and even something as simple as finding food and shelter -- are enough to make the strongest person want to hide in a corner and give up. But instead they pray, give thanks, and remember this life is temporary, and they move forward with joy. It is truly a testament to God's grace.
I have so much more to share but I believe Africa needs to come in waves. Too much at once is hard to understand which is why I believe God is showing it to me in phases. For now, I will leave you with some pictures from the orphanage :)