Saturday, October 28, 2017

Bible Drive

 I try not to do too many "asks" on our family blog, but I did want to share about what Take Action is doing this year for Christmas.

Christmas is the time when we celebrate the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. This year, instead of hosting Christmas parties and handing out goodie bags, Take Action has a goal of putting the Word into the hands of all 1,250 children who attend our partner centres by giving them an age appropriate Bible.

The average cost of the different books is R60/$6 for a total goal of R75,000/$7,500. We hope to raise these funds by November 15 so that we can distribute the Bibles before our partner centres close for the December holidays. 

Below are the details for giving in South Africa. 

To give in the US or Internationally, you can donate through the Take Action Pure Charity fundraising page, just making sure you write "Bible Drive" in the notes!

If you are in the US and don't feel comfortable giving your credit card details via the Pure Charity website, you can send a check that will go through our personal bank account. Drop me an email at for more details!

Friday, October 20, 2017

New Day, New Mercies

It is Friday afternoon, a very hot Friday afternoon. I am sitting in the living room with a fan pointed at me. That helps take the edge off the heat, but not by much. The sky looks heavy with rain, but looks can be deceiving.

It has been just over two weeks since I last wrote. There have been good days and bad days during that time, but I have gotten through each one, so hooray!

We registered Tyson for school next year, back into Grade 8 he will go, which is fine as it will set him just half a year behind his peers in the states rather than being half a year ahead of them. He is a bit nervous, but also excited to try something new. He had to take placement test last week and he came home so tired. Sitting at a desk will be a big adjustment for our boy, but we believe it is the right choice for us all.

While something can be the right choice, it can also be a difficult choice to make. Other than missing some time alone, I really like having Tyson around. He is funny and gentle and kind and smart. He creates new things almost every day. Right now he is busy making Christmas presents for people out of things he finds in his room and in the garage. I think it will be easier for Jori to have her brother back in school as there has been quite a bit of jealousy from her towards him being home. He gets extra treats, sometimes watches movies during the day (but not often!), goes out with us to see and do things, and of course it seems more fun than sitting in a class all day.

I started Zoloft this week- the little blue pill. I can't tell you if it is working or not as it needs some time to get all in my system. I am glad I went and saw the doctor though and even more glad they had a generic option available at the pharmacy. Yay. I have been on Celexa for anxiety for a while, which I can no longer take as it counteracts with the Zoloft. So hopefully the blue pill is the right one for me.

I have been spending a lot of time thinking, and writing, and reading. There are still some things I am angry about. I've discovered that there are also things I am sad about and grieving over. There are also things I am worried about and frustrated with and tired of. There is quite a lot of happiness and thankfulness in the mix as well. I am trying to sort through the different things that I am struggling with and letting myself "feel all the feels". Being angry in itself isn't a bad thing, but what am I going to do about it? Grieving is also not a bad thing, but being stuck in grief isn't healthy. Happiness is a good thing, although I often tend to grab on to the happiness ride and not deal with the other stuff, which is called denial. That ends up having negative consequences as I usually end up falling back into anger and sadness and a whole lot of other ick that has just been sitting there waiting for me to deal with it.

So overall I am good, better at least than I was. I am trying to be better to myself. To close the computer before supper time and leave it closed until the next day; to take time to hang out with my friends; to not feel like I always have to be on the go; to give myself permission to say 'no'.

I know I am a beloved child of God, but I am still not feeling it. I am trying to spend more time in His presence though as I know that sometimes feelings can take a bit of practice. Tonight Darin and I are going on a date. A date where we plan to talk and share about ourselves. You'd think after being married for 15 years we'd know it all, but isn't it strange how sometimes, the longer you are with somebody, the less you really know them? So I am looking to reconnecting with my main man tonight and as we go forward together.

Thank you to the many who have been praying for me and for my family as well. Your support means so much to us.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Good days and bad

Yesterday was a good day. I took the kids to Pretoria for a "fun day". We didn't make any travel plans for this holiday week, so other than a few sleepovers we didn't have a lot going on. The kids and I hit up a couple thrift stores, which they were not impressed with (Jori said they smelled weird, not like the thrift shops in America), and then we went to Menlyn Mall.

First we hit up the toy store. Of course, my big spender, Tyson found multiple things to spend his money on. Jori, my money hoarder (not the same as a saver!) was much more hesitant. We left the toy store with nothing and headed to a few book stores instead. Tyson was close to buying many times, Jori was not. We took a break for lunch- Subway and fountain pop from Burger King (free refills!). Then it was back to the toy store. Tyson headed right to the Lego section, while Jori picked up and set down several items. I strongly encouraged her to buy something, as that was the point of our little outing (each kid had received some spending money that morning), and she finally picked out a little stuffed bird that chirps when squeezed. She loves stuffed animals, much to my chagrin.

We made one more stop for some frozen yogurt. Then after a brief struggle to get out of the mall parking lot, we were on our way home. It was a good day.

Today, however, has not been a good day. It just started out with a heaviness, which was strange since I even had my little Amo-pants in my house to love and squeeze on. I was angry with the kids this morning, which is nothing new, but usually when there are other people in the house, I keep it together. I just wanted to not deal with anything. Darin left and more kids arrived. I mostly tried to just keep myself separate from everyone, other than Amo.

I sent all the big kids to the tuck shop to buy lunch as I didn't want to deal with all that mess. When they finished with that, I hauled Amo to my room and shut the door while the kids watched a movie. That is where I more or less remained until Darin came home. We now have one extra kid, Tyson's friend, and they will have dinner and start a movie soon.

I decided to pick up "The Broken Way" again today. In chapter 4 it talks about how God's heart breaks for us when we are brokenhearted. That wasn't what caught me though, it was the next sentence:

And still- your brokenness can feel like a tomb you can't quite claw yourself out of.

Those words stopped me. They were so spot on to how I was feeling today and how I have been feeling. In a tomb. Dead. 

You can feel the corners and edges of you withering with the weight of the scar tissue on your own soul. 

Scar tissue, from things long buried, hurts I've stuffed down, anger and grief and sadness built up. Walls I've built tall.

A withering soul. A tomb I can't claw my way out of. This is the truth of where I am, and these words just resonated. But, thinking of a tomb, a small, hidden away space also made me think of something I had read earlier this week in Psalms.

He brought me out into a spacious place. He rescued me because He delighted in me.  Psalm 18:19

I am down, but I am not out. I have a rescuer who delights in me, who desires to bring me out of the tomb and into a spacious place of life and abundance. 

I will hold on to this hope and the hope of more good days to come.

Build Them a Home Progress Report #3

Wow, wow, wow!!! We are only $50 away from reaching our goal!! Thank you to everyone who gave over the past week. The house is really taki...