Monday, February 23, 2009

There is death. And then there is new life. And this is my newest little "great"-neice - Ava. She was born on February 9th to my nephew Kevin (Richard's brother) and his beautiful wife Ann. She is precious and pink and soooo sweet, isn't she? :)

And, so, life goes on. Sometimes it just doesn't feel right to laugh or be happy or even return to a normal routine. But Richard would never want anyone to stop living their lives. In fact, he would be honored if we would live our lives to the fullest. And so, we are slowly stepping back into our regular schedules and routines.

It did really feel good to get back to my quiet time this morning, reading God's word and praying - and listening.

We went to see the Newsboys in Williamsport last night. It was good. Dang, it was loud. But it also just renewed in me again these urges that I've been having to do something meaningful with my life. I am so burdened to go to Africa and somehow do something for the orphans or the impoverished. Not because it's trendy. I mean, my heart is really, really broken for them and I want to do SOMEthing. I've always wanted to go to Africa. Like, my whole life. I wanted to see the wildlife. Maybe that urge has been, all this time, propelling me towards this desire that I've been feeling. I look at my own life and the waste is almost disgusting. The things we spend $$$ on, the material wealth that we have - and for what? For purely selfish reasons.

And, honestly, there is some selfishness in my desire to go to Africa. Because I know it would be an incredible blessing to ME as well... Something is stirring in me. We have $$$ saved for a big vacation this year. And I asked Chris last night to considering holding onto that $$$ and add to it with the goal of going on a missions trip to Africa next year. I know that kind of trip would be very costly and, really, we're almost there if we don't go to Ireland or Nova Scotia instead. Sure, it would be nice to go to those places and visit lovely hotels or vistas and eat out every night and loll around. But think of what GOOD we might be able to do if we re-purposed our trip and made it valuable to someone else besides ourselves. Not that vacations are a bad thing. They're so not. But, honestly, I haven't really felt an excitement, a passion for going to Nova Scotia or even back to Ireland - not like I did the first time we went. But to go to Africa? I want to go so badly it brings tears to my eyes. I know Chris doesn't share the same burden. And it's not just up to me to decide what we do with our vacay $$$. But, Africa is where my heart is. We'll see.

But, even if we don't go there, I still feel like we live to much for ourselves. I still think we could take some of the $$$ that we spend on going out to eat and purposefully spend it on reducing hunger somewhere else - even in our own backyard, so to speak. We do support two children and their families - one in Jordan and one in Mozambique. And I don't take that lightly. But I think we can do more.

I'm not going to make radical changes overnight. This is something that has been creeping up on me over the past year or so. I want to be wise about it - not fanatical. We will investigate. I will start praying that God will make it clear to us just what to do. And I will not ignore those opportunities he puts right in front of us - something no one should ever ignore! I do believe that is one of the ways He leads us and so often we just ignore it.

So, I'm opening my eyes, bit by bit, beyond myself. And I will be excited to see what God will do...

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