Monthly Archives: March 2010

upendo.

I don’t know if you guys realize this or not, but I’m on blog post two for the week!  What was I saying about being a sucky citizen in Blogland? Psht. I’m on my way to being crowned Queen of this joint..

Anyway, this post is not about my boasting of being the best blogger around, so let’s get to it.

Many, or rather the few of you who read this, know that my little baby heart skips a few beats when the word Uganda comes up.  There’s just something about that place.  It’s beautiful, for sure, but it’s more than that.  I’m willing to venture that it holds some of the most amazing, kind hearted, loving people on the planet.  People who show the love of Jesus in ways more real than we can even fathom. It’s actually kind of ironic that a place so war torn and hated could be such a hope filled beacon for the “peaceful” nations that supposedly have it all.

In the recent months, I have become fascinated with the Acholi people. They are a people who have had the wrath of genocide beat on them, a people who never asked for trouble.  They are beautiful beyond words.  And their stories make me weep, laugh, and love more than I ever thought possible.  Presently, I know no Ugandan face to face.  But, I feel a connection with the people there.  A connection that I know stems only from the love that Jesus shows.  In the recent weeks, I have seen various other peoples from the more peaceful regions of Uganda, and I have fallen just as deeply for them.  There is much to be learned in that place, and few to do the teaching.  There is still a great need for things that are so easy to provide, but few to provide it.  They have a long way to go to achieve the “developed country” label that they desperately want.  Yet, even in their slums, sickness, and strife, they get it.  I have read story after story about women and children in that nation who only want to better themselves so that they can again stoop to the poor and needy, and help them rise up.

*Side note: In America, we would call that a “radical christian.” But why do those things have to be radical?  Why don’t we view them as actions that every follower of Jesus should have?  What does it say about us when we have every want, need, and desire at our fingertips, and yet, we live in pride and selfishness.

Now, I know that Uganda is not a place FULL of peaceful, God-fearing people.  If it was, they wouldn’t have some of the problems that they do.  But, there is a sense of community there and a sense of taking care of others and assuming responsibility even when things suck.

I’ve often wondered why we’ve left them to suffer..wondered where the “hands and feet” were..wondered why they’ve faced decades of strife while we live in first class communities.  So, it’s always a great day when I find a blog, or a website for a project that is working to change the lives of the citizens of Uganda.

I’ll share with you two of my favorites, and encourage all of you females to purchase something. *There’s something amazing about buying something that you know is honestly changing someone’s life..

Anyway, check out, http://www.ssekodesigns.com/ and http://www.invisiblechildren.com/mend

They are both awesome projects and super cute if I do say so myself that use the profits from their items to give women and children better lives.

And if you love kids like I do, check out, http://watoto.com  –It’s pretty friggin’ cool.

So, to end my rant about Uganda and all of it’s beauty, I’ll tell you what the title of the post means.  The word is upendo and it is Swahili for love.  It is a word that wasn’t used very often for many years, but has miraculously found it’s way back into the lives of the Ugandan people.

Here’s to social justice, eh?

Madlove.

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StressMountain.

I suck at blogging.  I always have thoughts throughout the day of things like, “Oooh! That would make for a great blog,” or “If I could just sit down for a few minutes..” But, it never happens.  And thus, I am a sucky citizen in Blogland.

I happen to have about 25 minutes (if I’ve calculated correctly) until the little bear that I nanny for wakes up..so here’s to trying getting this out!

Lately, life has been full of sighs. tons of them. And not just for me.  In fact, it seems like everyone I talk to these days is drowning in stress and filling their lungs with huge sighs.  In Collegeworld, it’s crunch time.  The best time. Summer is near, and finals are in the air.  But, knowing that in a few short weeks, or 6 more class days if you’re me, beaches and bathing suits will be filling our days, makes all of the crappy work worth it.

CMB and I often have the discussion of why school is isn’t such a big deal.  See, CMB lost his little giant mind and decided to major in English also known as paperwritingandreadinguntilyoulosevision, and he often has more stress than I could even think about handling.  I decided to major in Elementary Education because most kids think I’m kid, and we seem to relate well with each other.  And *bonus, being an Elementary Education major is like being in pre-schoolcollege, so my stress comes from cutting and pasting and creating fun activities for 8 year olds to partake in. It sounds blissful, but it has its difficulties.

Anyway, we’re often finding things on our little journey that mean so much more than what you learn in a classroom or at a work desk.  Ultimately, God is what fills us and seeing Him at work is what makes us feel satisfied.  I find my value in days spent on a blanket in the park watching families play games and in helping a person who has a serious need.  I find my value in knowing that I’m cared for and loved and in knowing I have a future that will never depend on any person or degree.

So, in my crunch time, or in my hectic cutting and pasting, I need to remember that although it serves some purpose, my happiness is not dependent on the source of that stress.  It’s much harder to remember this in the moment, by the way.

I for one, would like to replace my sighs with Hallelujahs. I’ve been given today, and I know that around every corner something new is waiting, and today’s stress will be gone in most cases when my round head hit’s my jumbo pillow.

So if you’re in a rut, or you’re trudging up StressMountain with a 10 pound sack on your back, remember where your worth comes from, and evaluate how much of yourself you’re giving to things that don’t really matter.  Take a few minutes to do something that does really matter, and thank the One who completes you.  I’m certain that if we did this more in our daily lives, StressMountain would look more like a hill and that 10 pound sack would feel more like 2 pounds.

Here’s to a new outlook and a breath of freshness!

Madlove.

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lights. camera. action.

Ever feel like your life is movie worthy?

Well on Tuesday, I felt like the leading actress and like my life had suddenly become a set filled with unbelievable props..

I got home after work and school and was just finishing dinner when CMB calls and says his mom is on the way to the hospital with chest pains and a possible anxiety attack.  So, I met him in the parking lot of the ER at 10:30pm.  We sat in his car for a bit before going in and then we began our wait.  We were basically the only ones in the waiting room, and naturally we were trying to pass time by laughing.  So, we were horsing around and this super mean lady scolded us. For real.  So, we moved.  We went to his mom’s room to hang out with her for a bit, and then CMB decided to stay overnight with her.  So, we were just hanging out and we realize that CMB has locked his keys in his car.  Bummer.  Well, it was time for me to go home and CMB was walking me out.

Me: Hey, can you hold this, I can’t find my keys..

CMB: Sure.

Me: My keys are not in my purse or in my pockets..

CMB: Where are they?

Me: Don’t tell me….

We walk over to CMB’s car, which was parked right next to mine, and we see my stupid red yarn key chain resting on his passenger seat.  At this point, it’s well after midnight and we’re both laughing with disgust at how dumb we are..

We decide that it would be a brilliant idea for us to just stay the night in the hospital and call a locksmith in the morning.  So began the never ending night…

*A little tip: 3 people in a hospital room with one bed and one recliner does NOT work out.  Let’s just say that around 4:30am I transferred to the lovely and loud waiting room, where I later got yelled at by a security guard and had an attack of sneezes.

7am finally rolls around and we get the cars unlocked (for rather cheap) and I head out.  I make a pit stop on my way home and after getting back in my car, I don’t put my seatbelt back on and punch the gas.

fast forward 5 minutes:  Blue lights. Sirens. Police.

FANFRIGGIN’TASTIC.

I was pulled over and told that I had violated three laws…

following the car in front of my too closely.

speeding. (60 in a 40 to be exact)

and not wearing a seat belt.

It was really just dumb luck that I got pulled over because the reason I was following the car in front of me too closely was because we were probably doing the exact same speed..and the car next to me?  He was doing 60 too.  The car in front of him? you guessed it. 60.

Why were we doing 60 in a 40?  Because we were traveling on a HIGHWAY.  Where else in the world do you find a highway with a 40mph speed limit.  In most areas of the world, 40 mph is the MINIMUM speed.

Why was I not wearing my seat belt?  Well……I’ve got nothing.  Apparently, I’m just a bad citizen…ask CMB, he’ll totally agree..

Thank the Lord, I got a semi-nice cop, who had a little bit of pity on my sleepless night.  He cut me a break and only wrote the ticket for speeding, and for only 9mph over the speed limit.  $131 and a lecture later, I was on my merry little way..

Home to shower and sleep?  Not so much.  Home to brush my teeth and head to 3 classes is more like it…

BUT, I’m pleased to announce that not ONE time did I cry, complain, or whine.  In fact, somehow I managed to find this entire situation absolutely hilarious.  That’s right…I laughed. A lot.

Seriously, movie worthy eh?

Madlove.

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