Gratitude

This morning I am trying to practice the presence of God by giving thanks for good things– the smell of my hair product, an old pair of earrings that I like, cream in my coffee, our child getting himself up to go to school, the sunshine in the trees… I’m doing this as I give thanks for the life of Margaret Smith, my mom who I loved and who loved me. Many of you reading this were loved by Mom too. She died eight years ago today. She taught us to enjoy things and give thanks. Here’s Sarah’s Bible assignment that she’s been faithfully memorizing for these first two weeks of school:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17

I want you to know that I thank God for you, blog follower. Thank you for being a part of our lives and for caring for us.

Happy Thoughts

Things I’m thankful for this morning:

Trash bags– I found some biodegradable rubbish bin liners (as they call them here) and I’m happy to put them to use!

King Arthur Flour website recipes– try the cinnamon scones

David comes back to Kenya tomorrow!

Lovely memories of the birds, the acacia trees, the sunset on the lake, from a family weekend on Lake Naivasha

The many types of birds who live here that lift our spirits with their carefree flying and jubilant songs

The kindly painter who told me that I made good chai (I nearly doubled the sugar yesterday!)

The friendly joking and laughing of the construction guys working at our house

Bright fires on chilly nights

Will is content with his job and has been commended lately for his teaching

The Lord’s reminder of all the wonderful people (specifically from ACU) who encouraged us to do missions

Sibling pairs who are friends with our girls

New kids coming to school next year and all the possibilities therein

Peter’s enthusiasm for the guitar

Coco soundtrack, especially the Spanish version

Two families who visited this summer– we appreciate you!

Cry, the Beloved Country

The repetition of the phrase “I, the LORD, have spoken!”

Carol truly grandmothering our kids

Each time one of the kids says “Thank you”

Talking to Katherine on the phone

Annie’s braces

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Black and White Casqued Hornbill

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The Shirk girls are over

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Will at work delivering babies

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Annie’s braces

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David on his way to the States nearly a month ago

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Katherine the Great

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The Reids visit us and Hell’s Gate

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New construction at Flamingo House

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Sunset on Lake Naivasha

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Glamping with the girls

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Acacia trees on Lake Naivasha

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The Shewmakers visit and we ascend Mt. Longonot

 

 

 

 

Sophomore Restaurant

At Rift Valley Academy there are projects for each class to build unity as well as to serve the RVA community. One night is called Sophomore Restaurant. All the sophomores and their sponsors (we are some of them) work to plan a menu, advertise, arrange baby-sitting, and then it all comes together in one day while we cook, serve, clean, and entertain our RVA diners. I think it is the funnest thing we have done with the sophomores, and it was fun to watch them all work together to help one another and serve the RVA staff. Allison once again took on cooking responsibilities, and I helped run a small cafe next door that served those who were not able to get tickets to the main event. It was definitely an all day project.

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The line outside the small cafe where I helped.

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Allison getting the Mediterranean dishes ready

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Lots of food

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Dessert

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The servers enjoying a bit of down time

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A certain server getting tired of his father following him around. David had the hardest room full of Juniors and Seniors.

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Enjoying the leftover mousse

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Happy RVA and Kijabe Hospital staff enjoying a nice meal

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My favorite chef and waiter

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Proud sponsors

Next year we get to be diners instead of servers! I am looking forward to being on the other side.

Hyenas in the hood?

It’s 2:08 on Easter Sunday and the beautiful African choruses of the church across the way are wafting in through our open windows. It’s like having our own Paul Simon Graceland concert. Only really African.

We had a nice bit of cloud coverage for our Easter school picnic, the first clouds it seems like we’ve seen for weeks. I read the other day that Kenya is experiencing its worst drought in 38 years. Here on the mountainside and near the valley it is not as bad, but many in northern and western Kenya are struggling to survive. Last year it was the longest rainy season in a several years and now this drought. Here in Kenya, they have the “short rains” in November and December and the “long rains” from April through June. The whole time the temperature is an average of 68 degrees or so. It is a wonderful place to live, if you’re looking for a place to minister. Or if you want to come visit, read here.

Last night something funny happened that I thought was worth blogging about. We have a hospital station Whatsapp group that reports happenings around here. Recently, a couple of people have reported a clan of hyenas wandering around the outskirts of our complex. (Our compound is not fenced off and so we have all sorts of things drifting through—ne’er do wells, baboons, wild dogs, and now, hyenas). Our dog Chardonnay was barking a different and more insistent bark than usual in the middle of the night. Usually we can tie her leash to the back gate and she will be quiet, but last night, no such luck. I went out to check on her and from inside the house I could hear this high-pitched dog yapping or laughing sound. It sounded like cats? No. Monkeys? No. Puppies? Maybe, but different. I opened the door and Chardy was pulling hard on her leash, barking her most vehement bark. Crazily, I considered, “Is the hyena pack barking back?” All the neighborhood dogs were going crazy. I pulled our guard dog into the house and told Will that I may have heard hyenas. He laughed and opened the window to listen. He was convinced that it was just a dog or two. Even if it was, isn’t it surreal that hyena laughing was even on the table? Just in case we forgot that we live in Africa!
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Happy Easter

As I type the air is filled with the echos of the African church singing an all day celebration.

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Happy Easter! ¡Feliz Pascua!

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A Walk in the Woods

It is always good to get out for a walk. I have no idea why this ladder we found was where it was or to where it was heading.

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Found a ladder in the jungle

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