Friday, April 26, 2013

my first taste

Not only was yesterday 90 days before I leave(eek!), it was also just a few days before my 25th birthday(eek! as well!). I ended up having the evening free so I called Laura and she was up for trying out Flavors of East Africa with me! What an experience, some I loved, others I ha...will need to get used to, but overall I think it was a great start. Here's what we enjo... ate :) 

Bhajia: Sliced potato dipped in lentil batter and deep fried, served with creamy dipping sauce.
I really liked these! Kenyan take on a potato skin. 

Gingerized Pineapple Lemonade
"In Africa, drinking 100% natural Ginger juice blend with other fruits daily is a custom." I definitely approve...and look forward to hopefully... this daily custom!

My choice...
 Choma (roasted) - safari chicken with Biringanya (chopped eggplant in a creamy tomato-based sauce with spices) and Ugali (steamed white corn flour mash)
I would eat it again if it was the only thing in front of me (which will most likely happen in about 3 months), but when I have the choice, I will try something new!

Laura's options...
Keema Beef (ground beef seasoned in our unique African spices) with Wali (rice) and  Nyoyo (hominy, kidney, potatoes and carrots cooked in olived oil with garlic, tomatoes, and onions)
I only tried a bite of everything on her plate, definitely did not like the rice (it had too much of some spice), the beans were ok, and the meat...hmm.. I think I liked it better than my chicken.

Thanks for joining me Laura!

Friday, April 19, 2013

dolphin day...and more!

After the week I have had, I decided I needed to get away and get some alone time with God. My favorite place to go is Coronado beach and today turned out to be a beautiful day!

The sun was shinning, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and I got to just lay there. I had hours to just be there, nothing specific I wanted to accomplish but to relax and reconnect with my Savior. After a few moments, I decided to pull out my new book and keep reading. Such a great book so far, very convicting, but really helped me refocus on what my job is here on Earth and what I need to leave in my God's hand. Here are my highlights:

"Three Deadly D's of Destruction" by Joanna Weaver
- Distraction
- Discouragement
- Doubt
"Throughout time, Satan has resorted to these tactics to bring down God's best and brightest. The underlying strategy is fairly simple: Get people's eyes off God and on their circumstances. Make them believe that their 'happiness' lies in the 'happenings' that surround them. Or send them good news-about somebody else. When they're thoroughly discouraged, tell them God doesn't care. Then sit back and let doubt do its work." -p. 17

"3 things we can learn from Martha and her encounter with Christ" -p. 27
-we can bring out needs to Jesus anytime and anywhere. Ask and it will be given to you. -Matthew 7:7 Martha took full advantage of his availability, even in the midst of her busyness and party preparations.
-Jesus really cares about what concerns us. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. -1 Peter 5:7 He spoke to her with infinite gentleness and tenderness, recognizing the pain behind her whining words.
-Jesus loves us enough to confront us when our attitude is wrong. Those whom I love, I rebuke and disciple. -Revelation 3:19 He intuitively understood Martha's pain, but that didn't stop him from telling her what she needed to hear.

I concluding my devotional time by reading a few verses from the Bible. Yesterday, I was encouraged to read Matthew 28:18-20 so today I opened to it and was reminded of God faithfulness. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

By 11:30 I was hungry and decided to walk down the street and pick up a sandwich. Thanks to a giftcard from my amazing mother and a coupon from the newspaper for a buy 1-6" sandwich get one for free, she bought me lunch and dinner! Thanks Mom!

 As I was eating lunch, looking out into the beautiful Pacific Ocean... I spotted a pod of dolphins! I counted approximately 6 and they swam together parallel to the coastline and put on quite a show for all of us watching. Here's the only good picture I got...and proof I really did see them!

It turned out to be such an amazing day! Just listening the the crashing of the waves reminded me that God never stops, He never sleeps, and He never is not listening to me. He's willing to show up, like the dolphins, if I would just look for Him. I know these next few weeks will be hard, both emotional and physical, but He's with me and will continue to bless me more than I will ever be able to fully understand, just because He loves me.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I can taste it...

What better way to understand a culture than through their food? It has been one of the things I have wanted to research more before I go because I really do love food. Last night I was searching google for popular Kenyan ethnic foods and looking at the recipes and thinking how I might recreate them...

(in an excited, anticipatory voice) and then this afternoon my Dad tells me he saw on the news this morning that there was a local Kenyan restaurant in the area. I came home, and sure enough, it exists less than 10 miles from where I live! I'm going to get to taste it before I get there...and I don't even have to make it! (which is probably better for everyone)

I found great reviews online and cannot wait to go try it... Their menu is even in Swahili...(and English of course!)

Anyone want to go with me?? :)

Nyama Chroma




Tuesday, April 9, 2013

heart reflection Part 3

Part 1 Sept. 2012

Part 2 Dec 2012

Missions update:
* My faith departure date is creeping up! I have been counting down the days using the Psalms, and this morning I read Psalm 107...eek!
* My one-time needs ($9,186) has been met! I have reached 27% of my monthly commitments and praying for the $2,072 that's left.
* Reality hasn't completely sunk in... life is too normal, moving to Kenya seems too much like a dream, can't it really be what's happening?
* Praise God! My work permit has gone through; when I arrive in Kenya I will be taken to get fingerprinted and then receive an I.D.
* All my reading is done as far as what was mandatory, I've also finished a book on the history, culture, and cool places to visit in Kenya. On the dock is Cross-Cultural Servanthood.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. -Psalm 107:8

This verse is also repeated in verse 15, 21, and 31 of chapter 107. This morning, as I read this Psalm, I was thinking about his control over this earth. The fact that the sun rising and setting each day is controlled by Him; the beautiful trees, plants and flowers that cover our views with such amazing arranges of color stand tall admist gravity; there is so much bad going on in this world that  He protects us from, because He can, and because He loves us. I am quick to bring to Him my big needs, after all He can make the sun rise, the trees stand tall, people healed with unknown medical reasoning, why not bring to Him big things?

But what about the little things? Things like my attitude on a daily basis, my motives for doing something, my inner thoughts, my "little" request? Do I think because they are small enough then I should be able to handle them on my own? I do, but I'm wrong. (insert humility lesson) He wants all my requests, the big, the medium, and the small. He wants me to trust Him with my whole life, not just the big decisions, the major twists and turns, or the out-of-my-control circumstances, He wants everything. What does that look like for me right now?

It means a daily surrender to Him. It means reminding myself of his unfailing love for me, the wonderful things He does despite my lack of trust and committing to Him everything. One of the best examples I always come back to was an activity we did during one of our week long vacation bible schools. A black bed sheet was draped over a small blue kiddie pool and a tall wooden cross was placed inside. On the ground surrounding the pool was large sponges. The kids were given a few minutes to run around, collect sponges and carry them to the cross. Within a few minutes we had a few heavy breathing preschoolers starring at the cross surrounded by sponges and wondering... can I do that again? I decided to take a step further and gather all 20+ four year olds around the perimeter of the pool and talked about what it means to bring our sins (sponges) to the Cross. I then asked them to grab a piece of the black fabric, that hung around the outside of the pool, and gently lay it over the sponges, in order to cover them up. When we take our sins, our worries, are requests, and our needs to God, to the Cross, He asks us to leave them there. Not part of them, not just one decision, but everything of all of it. And when we turn around and walk away, He wants us to leave it there, for Him to take care of. And by covering them up, we can remember that He doesn't keep a record of wrongs, He doesn't want us to think we can come and claim back our problem for us to fix, no He wants us to surrender it to Him fully, and then He can do what He does best.

Today there are a few things I need to surrender, and I'm going to be transparent, because He knows anyway.
* My attitude. Specifically regarding these last few weeks leading up to me leaving. He is not done with me here yet, I need to remember that this time is just as important to God as is my upcoming time in Kenya, no more or no less.
* Honor commitments. If I say I'm going to do something, I need to do it, and not talk myself out of it or come up with a lame excuse.
* Respect other people's time. Lately I have been okay with being "fashionable late" to a lot of things, even though that may be how Kenya operates, it's not respectful to those here.
* Control my inner thoughts. I'm a dreamer, I love thinking up plans of my future, things to do for people, places I'd like to visit, people I'd like to call, and instead of living out the moment or picking up the phone and calling someone, I keep it inside (and it's not always positive either!). My thoughts need to become my words and honesty must play a key role in that one.
* Time with people. Knowing that goodbyes are coming, it is easier at this point to begin to shut people out, spend more time by myself, and become a "debbie-downer". Quality time with people needs to become a priority, and when I'm with someone, I want to be focused and positive.
* Time with Jesus. I've gotten really relaxed when it comes to getting up in the morning and doing my quiet time. Most days I have 3-4 Psalms to catch up on because I haven't been doing them. I want to get back on track, making that a habit, and not trying to change all these things myself but bringing it to Him and allowing Him to help me.

What do you need to surrender to Jesus at the Cross? There is nothing too big or small that He can't handle.
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