“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
-Dr. Suess, The Lorax

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hope in Jesus

Hope is defined as "the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best."  Hope is a good thing. 
But my hope is in Jesus.  It's more than just a feeling; it's a solid assurance.  It's a promise that will not be broken.  Hope in Jesus is more than good, it's peace beyond all explanation. Even as I look into the eyes of a child as he takes his last breaths, I can confidently tell him that it will be okay.  I can tell him the truth that he is loved, will soon feel no more pain, and everything will be okay. 
That little boy now knows that hope is real.  As he is now sitting at the feet of our Father, he no longer feels pain.  He no longer suffers.  He is surrounded by love, beauty, mercy.  He is embraced by the presence of the Lord.  A better hope than that does not exist.
Romans 5:2-5 -
"...And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."

And that is how I can look into a dying child’s eyes and tell him,
“It’s going to be okay.  You are NOT forgotten.  You are loved.”
How thankful I am to have this confidence within me.  It WILL be okay.  Praise be all to Jesus.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Final Countdown

I haven't posted in a while, so here's a little update.  We are just days away (9 to be exact) from departure.  In the wee hours of June 19th, my family and I will hit the road and head to the Nashville airport.  Our dear friends Jesse and Joelle will be hauling us and all our junk in their truck, bless their hearts!  We'll fly out of BNA, switch planes in Miami, and - all things running on schedule - we will be on the ground in Haiti by early afternoon.  Then we'll load our massive amount of luggage into the truck and drive the 90-minute bumpy, dusty ride to our new neighborhood in Cazale.  After the day of traveling, that ride will be pretty exhausting, especially since my girls and I will probably be sitting atop all those suitcases in the back of the caged-in pickup.  Brennon, riding up in the cab, and Papa Zach, our fearless leader, will no doubt have manly stuff to discuss right off the bat.  Have I mentioned that a great portion of the trip is on gravel roads?  Oh, we're going to have a BLAST that afternoon.  Dramamine will be my best friend.

From the updates we've heard, our house in the Caribbean (I really get a kick out of saying that) is nearly finished.  We'll have some details to work through during our first week or two month, like getting water and electricity operational.  We are just looking at it like a fantastic camping excursion until we get the kinks worked out.  However, in Haiti, you never run out of kinks.  I have done the best I can to pack little things to decorate our new home to make it feel more "homey."  Brianna will have Hello Kitty wall decals and glow-in-the-dark stickers for her ceiling.  And a new pet cat is promised.  We'll need some help fighting off the rats, I'm sure.  Our lightweight quilts are packed up, including Lesley’s really groovy lizard quilt that my sweet Aunt Kathy made for her just a few years before she lost her fight with cancer.  I think little treasures from home like that will make us not feel quite so lonesome in the months to come.  I’m hopeful, at least. 

I just packed our “Haitian microwave,” better known as the pressure cooker.  That’s what our new form of “convenience” is going to look like.  Our generator is on a shipping container somewhere between Miami and Haiti right now, as far as I know.  I hope that little jewel has a safe passage and gets through Customs easily, along with our couch and mattresses.  Isn’t it funny what really becomes important to you when you are looking at having to start from scratch..…in a third world country! 

Things are progressing smoothly so far.  Satan has been trying to beat us down and discourage us, but our God is bigger and has faithfully carried us through all the trials we have been faced with.  It makes the battle a whole lot easier to fight when we recognize who the enemy is.  But if our God is for us, who can be against us?  Our help comes from the Lord.   
If you are a praying person and would like to know what to pray for, can I make a suggestion?  Could you be praying for our families and friends this upcoming couple of weeks?  We are in a place of great peace that we know is a heavenly gift.  I’ve wigged out about upcoming vacations far more than the anxiety I feel about this huge journey.  It’s pretty cool to be calm.  My to-do list is shrinking and isn’t haunting me at all.  This past week we learned we don’t have any cavities, the dog doesn’t have worms, and I even got my overdue book fee paid off at the library.  We’re on a roll, I tell ya!  Since we’ve been able to get most of those chores knocked out, this week will be focused on having some quiet time sipping a latte with my mom, splashing in the pool with Brianna, and saying our goodbyes.  Last night we gathered with Brennon's parents and siblings to devour steaks and cookie cake.  Quality time is very sacred to me, now more than ever.   

I’ve given up on wearing mascara.  There’s probably no point.  This week isn’t going to be easy for us or the ones we love.  Our family has never been away from our hometown for more than a two-week period.  Ever.  Born and raised here, we are fixtures here in our end of the commonwealth.  So, as you can imagine, our families are not too excited about the approaching of the 19th of June.  So please pray for them – and us – as we say goodbye  “See ya later!”    

             My Mom and Dad think my kid hung the moon.  :)

As soon as it is logistically possible, I'll be posting an update from once we get to Haiti.  But not until I hug some special kiddos.  First thing's first!