23 December 2011

2012 - days and weeks to discover who you really are

"You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It's just a matter of paying attention to this miracle." Paul Coelho

I woke up at 4 this morning. Thin foam mattresses and itchy bites and guards patrolling past my window; I'm not sure what woke me, but I stayed awake, and once again found myself wandering through the pictures of the past few weeks I've been back in Africa. Seriously, sometimes I'm amazed that I get to live this life. Apart from the sadness of being away from our kids this season, apart from the finances and medical issues and the fact that I'm betting the farm every day that none of the 48 mosquito bites I currently have were given to me by a tiny lady also sipping out of the malaria jug..... even as we live through all that, we are constantly aware of our blessings. We get to live HERE. We get to work at a micro finance bank in Burundi and see men and women whose lives are changed with an extra $50 to supply bananas for their market stall. We get to buy those bananas for our breakfasts, or take that bicycle taxi ride, or purchase a sack of homemade charcoal on the side of the road, and experience, first hand, the circle of sustainability in a country of poverty.

Last night Billy and I were dreaming and wondering again - how in the world did we end up here? You know, those questions that are laced with amazement and thankfulness, but still filled with wonder. How did we come to live a life where the next natural step was to move to Burundi? Of course. And we are reminded, it is the same life that we chose years ago - by committing to listening intentionally and just saying "yes" to the next right thing. Each day, unique in its opportunities to do what is right, even if it isn't easy. And each new day, God has given mercies to take that small step leading us on a path that winds into the most beautiful places - beautiful mostly because He is there with us.

One day. One choice. A simple "Yes".

So, this morning, as I was going through my images again, I put together a weekly calendar for all of us to remember these moments all year long. Through the sloggy winter days in January, the daffodils peeking up in March, as we enjoy the bounty of our own farmer's markets throughout the summer months and in the autumn watching the leaves turning into brilliant hues matching the fabrics of the African women - we will remember. And we will remember that each new day is a fresh opportunity to experience God's goodness in the exact space we are in. Each day is an opportunity to listen for his voice and make a choice to say "yes"- and then turn around and be a blessing in return.

The 134 page calendars are available for purchase at blurb.com (and you can preview it in the link below) $10 of the purchase price comes back to us so we can invest it in a Kiva loan to benefit another group of Turame clients and/or help pay Samkelo's school fees during the upcoming year (he's the little guy on the back page - Hi Samkelo!). I guess it depends on how many calendars get sold, but there are plenty of places even $10 can go to make a world of change.

As always, we love it that we get to do this together. Thank you for all you do to encourage and join us. Merry Christmas. All thing are certainly new, every morning, by God's loving nature. Even here. Especially here.

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