All the Children of the World

Before going to Africa I taught Riley "Jesus Loves the Little Children." He woke up from a bad dream in the middle of the night, and we sang/whispered this song over and over until he was singing it on his own. I couldn't help but smile when the sweet children at an orphanage in Mbabane, Swaziland began singing this exact song. I was able to video it and played it for Riley several days ago. Now he wants to watch it over and over.

So I returned from Swaziland over a week ago, and I still haven't really processed the trip. I was thinking about it tonight, and as a mother and wife, it's difficult to find time to sit and think through all I saw and experienced. I mean, I pulled in my driveway last Thursday night around 8:30 pm, spent a little time with my son before putting him to bed, and the next morning I was up fixing milk in a sippy cup and preparing his breakfast just like I would any other day of the week. Life did not (and could not) stop just because I had returned from a 2-week trip to another part of the world! So the last week has really been a blur for me. I've been completely exhausted, taking naps just about every day, and the days I didn't take a nap, I was in bed before 9:00 pm. I think I'm finally readjusting to the Central time zone, but in the process of it all, I feel like I've been merely surviving. Not exactly the way I had hoped to return from such a life-changing trip.

Today I finally sat down and spent some time in the Word. I'll be honest, since I've been back, I haven't done much of that. I opened to Matthew 11:28-30 in the Message and read EXACTLY what my heart needed to hear today.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.

Whew! Thank you, Lord, for your perfect Word that washes over me and brings complete peace. I love every sentence in these verses. Each one speaks to me in a different way right now. "I'll show you how to take a real rest" - Since I've been back, I've been trying to do it all on my own, and yesterday I finally reached my breaking point. It was a rough day, and I was in a bad mood pretty much the whole day. Did I run to the One who could show me how to really rest?! No, I just kept trying to make it on my own. How frustrated God must be with me sometimes! He teaches me lessons over and over and proves Himself completely faithful in all of life's circumstances, yet I turn my back so often and say, "Don't worry, I've got this one." SO foolish!!! One of my prayers before leaving Swaziland was that I wouldn't return to "life as normal," but that I would allow what I did and learned there to transform my life here. So far, I've failed. However, I am thankful for a gracious God who gives me chance after chance and refuses to give up on me. "Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it." Daniel preached on abiding (John 15) in Him this past Sunday, and that is exactly what I haven't been doing, but need to do! Without Him I truly am NOTHING!

I could go on and on...I guess I'm finally beginning to process a little. Hope you don't mind being a part of that processing. :) I promise my others posts about Africa will not be this me-focused. I just knew I couldn't begin really sharing what happened over a week ago without sharing what's been going on since then. So now that that's out of the way, the more fun posts full of what God did while I was in Swaziland will be coming shortly. For now, though, it's time to go REST and allow my body to recover from a full week of being a mommy and wife again.

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