Friday, June 12, 2009

My Awesome Birthday - June 9

Sunrise on my Birthday
Shopping the souvenir shops
Maggie and I
Me getting on the Boda Boda
There I go!
A great finish to a great day!
The beautiful flowers
A type of birds of paradise

Sunset on Lake Victoria
Trumpet Flower
Purple Dragonfly
Dragonfly atop a flower
The kids

June 9, 2009

Today I turned 40 and it was a wonderful day. I woke up with joy in my heart and a wonderful praise prayer to God for all He is doing for our family.
I was reminded of the song of Mary when she was praising God for the things he was doing in her family’s life. That is how I felt, like wonderful things were in the works and I couldn’t wait to see what God’s plan was.
Anyway we headed to breakfast to find oodles of people there. There was a group from Drake University in Iowa here and the conversation of a young man overheard was, “Man, I was paranoid all night! “ I was so afraid a spider was going to come out and crawl on me.” “Newbie” I thought. “Never been outside of the USA.” Just for the fun of it, I wanted to say, “No need to worry about the spiders, you should have seen the 6 foot snake they killed yesterday!” or “ Watch out for the frogs that plop out from under the tikki huts or the lizards that fall randomly from the palm trees.” Now that would have freaked him out!
Anyway, I refrained. Everybody sang Happy Birthday to me this morning and then they let me decide what to do today. I decided we needed to go shopping in the morning and come back later for some more pool time. So as a Birthday gift, the older girls were assigned to each of my kids to allow me to shop freely. It was a really great birthday present. Jinja has some good souvenir shopping and so I totally enjoyed myself buying a few things for my kids back home.
I found this painting that I absolutely loved but couldn’t bring myself to purchase it and told the artist that I would think about it and maybe come back. I’m glad I waited because the last shop we went to was an artist that was incredible. Brenda showed me a painting she had just bought and I was enthralled. It was a white woman surrounded by African children and encased in the hand of God. In a sense it was an abstract but a very powerful message. The colors were bright and it was a painting that moved me. We then went in to see if he had any more similar. Shellie was getting a painting done as well and so the artist himself had been called to come and speak to her. I then spoke to him and he said he could custom paint one for me and have me and my children surround me and do it similar to Brenda’s in color and structure. So I described everyone to him and their ages and he sketched it out. I am so excited about this. We are supposed to pick it up on Thursday before we leave. I bought myself an awesome birthday present.
We then headed to a restaurant that was supposed to have awesome pizza only to find out that they didn’t have pizza until 6pm. Oh well, Maggie and I got chips Masala. We are trying them everywhere we go. They are so yummy! What we are finding out is that nobody makes them the same.

After lunch we headed home and I got this idea (actually I had thought of it for a few days.) that for my 40th I would do something crazy, that I was fearful of – no I didn’t go bungie jumping over Bugugali Falls – I decided I would ride a Boda Boda. So I told Brenda. Right at that time, we were coming up on a Boda Boda station and she made Scott stop and told me I should do it. She sent Gabe and David, the teen boys with me on another one and off we went. My driver was shy so wouldn’t say much to me. I was scared at first and held onto him but after a couple of minutes, I let go of him and just put my hands on my knees and enjoyed the ride. Now I have to tell you that when I was a kid, my dad got a motorcycle and put me it on with him. We slipped and fell over but didn’t get hurt but since that day, I have never gotten on a motorcycle again til today. So I conquered my fear and it was really fun. Mind you we rode on village roads and there was no traffic to weave in and out of, so with that element missing it wasn’t near as scary. It was a beautiful ride and the scenery was incredible.
Arriving safely back at the Hotel, our swimming plans were a little dashed as there were throngs of people and kids in the pool! It was a holiday here today, called Hero’s Day and a charter bus had brought a lot of people to the pool. Allenni and Andrew still went swimming with Maggie and joined right in with all the other kids and Isaiah and I went down for a little nap. He unwillingly, me willingly. Ha!
I woke up after a bit and since it was quiet, I decided to pray a little and write in my prayer journal. It was around 5:30pm and so was thinking of Duane as he was just getting his day going.
A few minutes later I got a big birthday surprise. I got a text from Duane telling me that God had given me a big birthday present!
He had supplied the money we needed to purchase all of our plane tickets to come home as well as the money for our visas. Duane was depositing the check in the bank and he wished me a happy birthday. I just love surprises!
Now the rest of the story is this: When Maggie and I came, We came in faith that God would meet our needs when we needed it. We had no money to buy the kids’ tickets or our room and board except for the first week of being here. I had put aside the money for the visas and brought it but in the end went ahead and used it for the next 2 weeks of room and board for us as it was more pressing. I knew God would supply the other when we needed it. Well, when we changed our plane tickets to Brussels, that cost us a little more but we went ahead and made the reservations without the money.
In the meantime, we felt from God not to share this request with everyone because God was teaching us to be solely reliant on him. That was really hard not to share, but God kept impressing us to only thank him for his goodness. I told God, “Ok, You are the one calling the shots. I will take my hands off of it and rest in the fact that you are my Father and have taken care of all the details. You’ve already shown me, what you can do with passports, and so if you are lining that up then you will get us home.
I will rest in you, trusting you to handle the bill when it needs to be paid just as my children don’t think of paying when I take them somewhere. “
So that is what I have done. Resting with no worrying, we have had lots of fun playing in the sun and water.
So I guess tomorrow, We will purchase the tickets and have a plane ride home on the 18th. I’ll let you all know when I have those other two passports in my hands.
I ran to find Brenda and show her the text and she and Shellie rejoiced with me how awesome God is.
Brenda and Scott treated me to dinner with banana and pineapple fritters for dessert and I handed out glow braclets and blowpops to all the kids in celebration of my birthday.
The power went out during dinner but it was no worries as we had a lantern on our table as we were out in the garden. Within a few minutes they had the generator running and the power was back on brighter than it had been with the hydro-electricity. It was a very interesting observation.
One beautiful thing was that with the power out, the stars were incredible. For some reason the moon hadn’t appeared and it was an awesome sight.
Since it was going on 9pm I headed back to the room where Maggie had already taken the kids and gotten them ready for bed. Andrew complained to me about Maggie telling him what to do and Allenni told me she didn’t want to go to bed and Isaiah let me know he didn’t want to go to sleep either.
Finally, about 30 minutes later and several threats that I would pull out the spank stick, they all fell asleep. I took my lantern and sat outside at our patio table and started this journal entry writing to you by lantern light, with the moon peeking out behind the clouds and shining down on Lake Victoria.
I do wish I could really describe the beauty here. We are surrounded by beautiful green grass , the most beautiful Red Birds of Paradise flowers, Palm trees, hibiscus, trumpet flowers, Cannas, Lillies, Gardenias, mango trees, red, vibrant Latinas, Colorful bugs and dragonflies, Coconut Trees, ferns, and more. It is so peaceful and restful.
The reason I didn’t finish by Lantern is that my computer battery was dying and I had to go in and charge it. I am assuming the electricity is back on as I don’t hear the generator running.
I then enjoyed my hot tea out on the patio and now am about to go to bed since I am about finished writing this.
So, My 40th birthday turned out awesome and I cannot think of a better place to have it than right here in Uganda doing what God has called me to do. The only thing that would have made it better would have been to have had the rest of my family here!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy, Happy Birthday to you! Love to you and all on this special day!


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