Rich and Full.

“I don’t feel like a human,” I told Tyler last Monday  as we were walking in the compound here in Kapenguria. It seems like a strange statement, but it was the only way I could think to express how I felt inside. The night before our team had a memorial service for what happened to Laura & Ebel—maybe that’s what sparked this weird feeling of non-humanness. Later that night I went into the tiny kitchen we get to use here. Ari and Ty were cooking, listening to lovely folky music. As I stood there watching them cook & laughing with them over something seemingly insignificant, I’m sure…I realized what I had been feeling all day: nostalgia. I felt nostalgic over nothing specific. I imagined that this night, cooking, listening to good music, the cool African night and having the privilege to eat dinner again with my “forever family”—-this was something, one day I was going to feel nostalgic over.  After dinner we all stood around the kitchen and porch area while the dishes were being done, listening to music and simply enjoying each others company. I had the overwhelming urge to twirl like a little girl in a pretty dress. It all felt like a nostalgic movie scene from a Cameron Crowe film. Like when Penny Lane & the gang sang Tiny Dancer in Almost Famous, or Orlando Bloom jumping in with one hand in the air in Elizabethtown. I almost felt as though I could cry, I wanted to stop time.  My twirling led to the boys seeing how many spins they could go with their forehead on the broomstick & then walk straight. It was absolutely hilarious. At one point Nicholaus was spinning when all of a sudden the power went out. We all screamed in laughter–especially when the lights came back on and Nick was just laying on the ground against the wall of the house. “I thought it was the end of the world,” he got out in between laughs.  To add the movie-esqueness of the night; Tyler, Nick, Michelle and I listened to The Album Leaf as we stared at the Milky Way that shined so bright in the African sky. We talked about nothing much at all, just soaked up the beauty of it all.  While we were laying there Tyler whispered “better pay attention in life, or it’ll pass you by,” after I missed a shooting star. It was a joke, but it hit a nerve. I realized in all my revelation that Lord has been downloading about His gift of FULLNESS—a fear had crept in. I’ve become fearful in every decision I think I might make–scared that I’m making the wrong one and I’m missing the fullness–which in turn paralyzes me.  The next morning Nick played the song in my previous post —“Train song” by Josh Garrels, God started working and damaging that fear:

“And I’m steppin’ out the door,
I’m doin what feels right,
followin’ my Lord through the darkest night,
And when the path gets narrow,
I follow Him…
He said “sing it on the mountain high,or in the valley low
‘He’s my God and He never let me go.”

The fear of missing out on the fullness will in turn guarantee it. I’ll come back to this in a moment….There’s only 2 short weeks left here in Kenya and as we were praying over this time here in Kapenguria we received words of fullness–that each day would be RICH and FULL of LIFE and that’s exactly my heart’s cry. On this past Sunday we had the privilege to attend the opening of church in the Pokot Tribe area, about an hour away from where we are staying. Please read up on the Pokot Tribe if you are curious…but some of the basic culture…The Pokot are polygamous normally having four to five wives.

Although it is against the law (which isn’t enforced properly) they still practice female circumcision (FGM). Boys are circumcised at age 15 and then there is a celebration called “sapana” for them in which they are then declared “real” men.The culture is under such strongholds of tradition and witch-craft so you can imagine the joy it was to see the freedom the Lord had brought to so many of them. It was such a joyous celebration that I am not sure how to put into words. To be part of a church being planted in an unreached people-group area was so surreal. The service was packed full of all kinds of dancing and fellowship–my heart was just “boiling” as Ari would say to express the feeling of peace and “this is right” you get when you know there’s no where else in the world that you should be except right there in that moment.

“This day couldn’t get much better, ” I said. Boy did I not even know what was coming….  On the jam-packed jeep ride home I had an “If This Were A Dream, What Would It Mean?” moment. All four of us girls were sitting on the middle bench, while the two Icelanders, were sitting up front and the boys were in the back packed with way to many Kenyans than should ever fit in a car. Ariel and I were listening to Jonsi in one ear while the sound of the Kenyan girls singing streamed in the other. It was as if Iceland was in one ear, and Kenya in the other. To top it off it started raining, really raining. Which is quite a big deal because they’ve been in a drought here. I smiled and thought about the day getting better and better.

When we arrived back at the compound Fanney had been busy making us french-press coffee and delicious coffee desert! Wow!

We spent some incredible time at their house and then headed back to ours for some rest. All four of us girls were just sitting in the living room enjoying each others company; it was only when Nick called us to dinner that I realized we hadn’t seen the boys all afternoon.  As we walked up to the table we realized that there were only four place-settings. There was a bright-burning candle and flowers all over the table. We sat down only soon to be crowned with princess crowns and African celebration necklaces. The boys proceeded to serve us salad and delicious pasta Milano, we just sat in awe. With every song that came on the playlist we said “awww..” The reality that this time, this season would soon be over hit us all this night. I was holding back my tears but then lost it when the boys surrounded us individually to pray and speak life into us! It was such a sacred time and the spirit was heavily there with us.

We were then guided into the living room for warmth and served chocolate cake and coffee! Oh it was so beautiful. The night came to a close with a movie and letters on our pillows :) A night (and day!) I’ll never forget.

So, going back to my fear of missing out on fullness…as soon as I laid it down to the Lord and let him take my cares, worries and fears…I’ve been able to enjoy this fullness that he’s been pouring into each day!

We head to Mombasa in a week…we’ll get to see the Indian Ocean!! I love my life.

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Dreams, Plans & Hearts of Stone.

We started off this week with intercession for Haiti, it made such an impact–so powerful, just interceding for the people of Haiti. Speaking life and joy over the country. It was also touched my heart because a few of my close friends from home (Lauren Ellis, Nikki Pendergrass, and Leslie Watson) just returned from doing a missions trip there!

This week’s theme was discipleship, and what it truly means. It’s sort of one of those topics that we hear about all the time, but this week I’ve grasped a better heart-understanding.

“..If anyone wants to come with me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it.” Matthew 22:34-40

On Tuesday we had the wonderful Simon Turner as a guest speaker at Seek My Face [every Tuesday night we have a time where we soak and seek more intimacy with the Father]. He led us through the Lords Prayer verse by verse, showing us how to customize it to our lives and praying to the Father.

That night the Lord was downloading a lot of vision for the future. He was highlighting so many instances since I’ve been here in Iceland that I had shrugged off as coincidence or maybe not even noticed at all–and he opened my eyes just to see the obvious. He has been knitting my life together so intricately and he was just giving me a glimpse of the things he has in store for me on the road ahead.

I was so excited yet a little frustrated. We all have these ideas of how are life may play out…dreams we have for the future and the people we plan to spend it with. So there I was being bittersweet that the glimpse God was giving me wasn’t what I had in mind. Basically doubting that God had the best in mind for me. I spent some quiet time with the Lord that night and he just continued to highlight the lack of trust I had in him. Which all stems from my lack of fully comprehending the Father Heart of God—fear of abandonment and all that good stuff.

The next morning I was still struggling with the things in my heart I was holding back from God and lo and behold the class that day was all about giving your whole heart to the Lord not just part of it. We were made to write down all the things we felt the Lord was pointing out that we were holding back from him and we laid them at the cross. Gotta love it.

I then proceeded to listen to Alyn & A.J. Jones message from emanate on having a heart of stone –“A heart of stone is a protection mechanism to keep you from pain. But it also keeps God’s love out too.” I was challenged so much in realizing areas of my heart that I have closed off…numbed as a defense mechanism.

The Lords just been showing me so much this week! He’s giving me vision for the future and what he has called me to. He’s showing me areas where I need improvement. He’s breaking me over the characteristics of Christ that I don’t display on a daily basis–or maybe even never. He’s healing broken areas in my heart that I have accepted–thinking they may never be healed. He’s showing me what it means to live in community and what it means to have compassion for those around me.

TRUST.

That’s the big one. Not only just trust in him, I find that easy compared to trusting his children around me. He’s teaching me to open my heart and share with those around me…not being ruled my fear that they might hurt me or abuse my trust; but realizing that that could in fact happen and taking the risk anyways because he has designed us to live in community–to be open. By shutting down my heart and not letting others in I’m actually shutting out the love of the Father as well.

I ended the week with a wonderful weekend! One of the DTS staff, Tyler, has a favorite coffee mug that he drinks out of every morning. We took this cup for an adventure and took photos with it all over town and with random people!

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Then on Sunday I took a trip with some friends to a black-sand beach…and the end point of the great Þjórsárhraun. The greatest lava flow on Earth since the end of the last Ice Age!

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Looking forward to what this week holds.

FLY

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? ”

Matthew 6:25-27