“The desire for my "rights" in order to preserve my individuality (rather than allowing God the full right to take over my life and to perfect my personality) has to be stripped away. I have to learn to persevere in the race He has set before me, drawing strength only from Him, and not relying at all on what I may consider any natural abilities I may have. I have to let God take from me even that strength which I thought I had in order that He may more fully reveal His own strength: in order that He may continue in me the work of conforming me to the image of His Son.”
― Helen Roseveare
Here we are again. A blank page to fill with words, letters tied together, that connected by spaces, carry meaning.
It has been 211 days since I sat in that airplane, window seat, feeling the plane engine stir and lift us to the skies. I said goodbye to Uganda that day. For now, at least. I didn't know exactly when I'd return. The next day, if I had it my way. But that's not the way the cards fell. And I'm glad it was so.
Because sometimes it's time to switch games.
I came to a cross-roads.
Walk West, and deny love.
Walk East, and let my heart saturate and renew.
Then there's this other life. Full of neon lights and sweaters. Convenience and immediacy. Productivity and pleasure. Proximity and nearness to my love.What else is there to say? It's "normalcy", "predictability", but adventure in its own right.
But here we are, Austin, Texas.
Soon to be Destin, Florida.
Hippies to tan beach-combers. New lights, new sounds, new memories to be made, new house to nest.
To bullet things:
I'm marrying the man who my dreams couldn't make up.
He's in the Air Force, testing weapons.
We're gazing into each other's eyes on April 28th, sealing the deal.
Then I'll move to Destin, Florida, where we'll live for at least 2 years before we move again.
I work for Tutapona, a ministry doing Christ-centered trauma rehabilitation counseling in Uganda and Sudan.
I'm the Communications Manager: connecting the East to the West.
I will get to travel to Uganda in March of 2013, then again (hopefully) sometime in the fall.
That's all she wrote folks. I'm back in the blogosphere and happy to be here. Writing on this thing makes me cry every time. (#weird, #hormones, #nostalgia)
Wait a second people, TWO MONTHS OF NO BLOGGING. That's just not o.k. It might be because I spend so much time updating the new, awesome Tutapona blog. Forgive me?
Freshman in college. #what
Why are these in the dumpster outside my apartment?
Babies that have been dreamt about for far too long. Can't wait to kiss them!
The Gaede's in the US
The brand new MSC on Texas A&M's campus!
Tutapona website in the works.
Seaside, matching t-shirts, Frost Bite's, my love.
Rosemary beach. #40mindrive
What a peach.
It was just yesterday that Ellie was the baby. Now there's 3!
Coach Scott. Roomie. Regents. Throwback.
Sus got her Aggie ring!
It's an ACL time of year.
Newby wedding fun!
Strangers think we're either related or peas in a pod.
What a blessing!
Bestie time. We were suckered into buying the CUTEST shoes. 'Excuse me, you two look like world-changers?'
The most special, influential couple in Destin, FL.
UT games with Laura.
Fall, fall, fall.
You know, sometimes pictures are the best we can do. Like the times someone asks how you are and all you can really come up with are demonstrations, pictures stories, imagery, because sometimes descriptors just don't have a place. I'm getting back in the saddle. Almost like learning how to functions again after losing a limb.
Asking big questions, wondering big things, and feeling again.
I want to write again!
I'm back, I'm back, I'm back. 3 weeks later too! Phew, glad to be in Austin where people are weird, the food is good, and paddle-boarding is on the rise. Florida, Nashville, Memphis, Jackson, College Station.
I've been experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of writer's block, so bear with me while I warm up my muscles again.
To be perfectly frank, I'm in limbo, straddling contentment at all times. When I'm in Africa, I'm longing to be home with my family, my small group, within reach of friends. When I'm in the U.S., calling my daughters in Uganda makes me weep, and I miss the brilliant sunsets over the cassava fields.
My calling is sure. To be a storyteller. To sit down over a bagel and coffee with everyone who will listen and tell them not about Joseph Kony, but about the people he has trampled. The real, tangible, people with stories, homes, families, and heartbeats. And the hope that is here, that in Jesus Christ, there is no fear in death.
I keep being reminded that the Acholi people are His people. Always have been, always will be. He watches them as they sleep. He knows their thoughts from afar.
So I'm clinging to the truth that life is so much fuller with God's nearness and greatness in mind.
Nearness, in that He never condemns, always understands, sits closely.
Greatness in that the worst thing the earth could do to Him was crucify Him, but He won that too. And this is the thing,
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
So God's strength is my strength, and the worst thing the earth could to me is take my life. But in HIM, I've already won.
Isn't that so great?
Thank you Jesus for Asher, Camp, James, dolphin cruises, rain storms, milkshakes, soul sisters who live in Nashville and eat cookie dough fried in wonton, and your promises that make it all worth while.
p.s. See those two little brown baby bellies? That's Asher and Camp. They're finally where they belong, in Wynne and Stephen's arms. Read more here.