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Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Oh my. I am SO excited. I’m nervous, and my heart’s all a-flutter.

(It feels like the first day of school – anxiously awaiting meeting new people. Will they like me? Am I cool enough? Am I going to have any friends? Yeah, I seriously am a dork. A likable dork, though, right?)

It’s not the first day of school, but I am still full of nervous energy. It’s the Ultimate Blog Party, and it’s happening at a hip little site called 5 Minutes For Mom. It’s basically a virtual party – a way to meet other bloggers.

So, I have these teeny tiny little plans for one day having a great blog that people I don’t even know want to read. I know, I know… what aspiring blogger doesn’t want that? But still, there it is. And here’s my chance to actually meet some cool people around the blogosphere in addition to few faithful friends that actually read and comment here already (hi few and faithful friends! i love you guys!).

Well, I guess I should introduce myself, rather than blathering on like a total dork.

I’m Beth, aka Red. Here’s a photo of me to explain the name:

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Get it? Good. I knew you were smart. And on the right is my honey. He’s so sweet. Those big brown eyes get me every time… *sigh*.

Here’s the lowdown on us. I guess you could read the ‘about’ page (which I want to re-write soon anyway), but here’s the quick and dirty version (Is that a bad saying? I tend to sometimes use bad sayings without actually knowing what they mean. I’m innocent, what can I say?!):

We met and fell in love in high school. I was 17, he was 18. We got married at 19 & 20. It was love, true love. We’re coming up on our 6th anniversary now, and have the world’s cutest baby. His name is Isaac.

Hubby is partway through his training to become a missionary pilot. I’m a SAHM. We are working towards a future as missionaries in Africa. We’ve already been short-term, and got the itch.

Or, more accurately, God called us.

And like Abraham in Genesis 12, we don’t want to settle where we are (ie. we don’t want to become complacent and say no when God is calling us to something kinda scary). We want to pack up and go wherever God is calling us, even if it sometimes sucks.

And that’s the truth.

Regarding this blog… to be perfectly honest, I’m still trying to discover my niche. Until I figure that out, you get to read my jumbled mess of thoughts in this whacked out thing they call motherhood.

I’d love to make some new blogging friends who are super-cool like me, so leave a comment and introduce yourself, whether you are participating in the Ultimate Blog Party or not. I can’t wait to meet you!

Yay for parties!

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P.S.  Here are my top choices for UBP09 prizes:

USC 57 – Personalized Graphic Button Design

USC 47 – $25 Amazon gift certificate

USC 6 – $50 gift certificate to www.iseemyface.com

Or any of these would be great too: USC 61, 67, 73, 58, 49, 44, 23, 36, 30, 21, 20, 17, 16, 15, 3

 

This blog has been a bit of a conglomeration since its inception. I’m not quite satisfied with it, and thus am trying to figure out exactly what I want it to be. I think I want it to be a mixture of different kinds of posts. I am not an easily stereotyped person (I don’t believe so anyway). What I mean by this is that there are many different sides of me.

I have a strong passion for deep intellectual thought and academic achievement and learning. I heartily enjoy a good stimulating discussion on a number of controversial subjects or even simply the ones I find fascinating, such as the church, missons, culture, bioethics, Christianity, Christian living, the depravity of Western culture, the roles of women and men, and of course, war and pacifism. I desire to learn more about these things so that I can speak more intelligently about them.

On the other hand… I also have a more “simple” side (I’m not sure that “simple” is the right term – it’s certainly not an insult to those who would not call themselves “intellectually minded”). Unlike my Dad, I don’t spend my days reading and writing and thinking about “smart people stuff”. I enjoy it, but there’s another side to me. I love to be a housewife, and I think that’s my “first love”, or my “calling” in life. I take pride in it, and am seriously anticipating (with trepidation and undeniable excitement both) September – when I am a stay-at-home mother. I’ve been looking forward to that since I was a child, and I feel like I am finally going to have the opportunity to do what I am meant to do. (With D-day being only 17 weeks [give or take a few weeks] away, I am starting to freak out and wonder if I’m going to even be a good mom, etc. A normal part of pregnancy and preparing for your first child, I’m sure, nonetheless it’s quite the intense experience).

Anyway, back to the reason for this post. What do I want this blog to be? Well, I admit I would like it to be something people enjoy reading, but most importantly I want it to be a reflection of me. What I care about, think about, and find interesting – whether it’s the mundane, the intellectual, or the nonsensical. If I achieve that, then I think I will be satisfied.

So… some topics I am chewing on for future posts:

  • Our consumer culture
  • How the church has been commodifed
  • Ways to save money at home (frugal living)
  • Baking & cooking adventures
  • How I envision being a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom)
  • My reading goals – book list

And more to come… because if there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that my brain pretty much never turns off. Except for between the hours of 10pm and 9am. At that time I’m a zombie.

We shall see how this plays out. More to come, hopefully soon!

(as written in an email by my husband, Chris)

As some of you may have heard Kenya is making major headlines right now in international news.  On December 27 a presidential election was held, the results of which have yielded Kenya’s closest presidential race in history.  Although President Kibaki has declared himself re-elected, his rival Raila Odinga has declared that the election was rigged and much violence has been the result.  To date over 300 people have been killed, and more violence is feared in the days ahead.  To make matters worse, I believe there is significant spiritual warfare taking place as one of Odinga’s suspected goals in seeking the presidency is to turn Kenya into a Muslim state, and institute Sharia law.  This would mean significant persecution of Christians, and the removal of all missionaries.

My wife Beth recently had the opportunity to travel to Kenya with Africa Inland Mission as part of her role as Short Term Assistant.  We both have many missionary friends living in and around Nairobi, and until now Kenya has been a very peaceful place for missionaries to be.  Just outside of Nairobi is a large missionary boarding school, Rift Valley Academy.  Missionaries and their families are keeping a low profile right now as their is some fear of targeted attacks against westerners.

Please join with us in prayer for the restoration of peace in Kenya.  We know that God is able to do mighty works even in the midst of crisis.  Please also pray for the many missionary families who are uncertain of what may come next, and especially for the many children who are away from their parents in boarding school.

If you would like more information, a good source is BBC Africa http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/default.stm

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Mt. Longonot, Rift Valley, Kenya

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My experience thus far in Kenya (Nairobi, Kijabe, and Mukaa) has been sort of overwhelming. 

This is my fourth time to Africa, but I’m finding that it is the toughest to process so far in terms of “culture shock”.  Not because it’s so different, but rather because of the ways in which it is so similar to Western culture.  Of course there are contrasts- the poor and rural life & the slums… which contrast starkly with the 24-hour shopping malls and coffeehouses which would cause one to think that they had been transported back to North America while they were sleeping.  I am staying at an AIM guesthouse, which is all quite Western (yesterday it was pizza for supper and ice cream for dessert – made all from scratch by Kenyans to suit the multitude of Wazungu).  Today when we were in Mukaa, it was the first time on this trip that I got to have a “real” East African meal! It was really good- I found that I missed it! I came to Africa but had not yet really felt like I was in Africa! Nyama, wali, viazi, ndizi, na chapati… mmm!

A slight change in subject… I’ve been thinking alot lately about the (sometimes) seemingly elusive “will of God for my life”.  How does one KNOW God’s will for them? How do you know you are correct in what you THINK is God’s will for you? What if you are deceived? What if you don’t choose the right path, what if.. what if.. etc.  Well much to my angst these questions have been rolling about in my mind for quite a few years now, and it was only just last night that I was really able to fully realize them and vocalize them.  I was talking with Sam and Bonnie, and they offered alot of wisdom (I absolutely love them.. they are amazing).  Anyway- the good news is that I’ve come to a place of contentment in these things, after many years of vague confusion.  The 2 verses that really stand out in my mind that Bonnie reminded me of are these…

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”.  That is not to say that you will get whatever desire (fleshly/worldly or otherwise) you want, but rather it seems to be more of a reciprocity in which your desires are already aligned with God’s will for you because when you are delighting yourself in Him, you are becoming more like Christ, and less like the world.  He gives you the desires of your heart not BECAUSE you are delighting yourself in Him, but THROUGH your very act of delighting yourself in Him.  Delighting one’s self in the Lord is the desire of a righteous (through Christ) heart.  That is all to say that if I am *honestly* delighting myself in Him, and I seek to use wisdom in my decisions, then I can ask myself what the desires of my heart really are, which will guide me to discover God’s will for me.  What am I passionate about? What am I uniquely gifted for?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways ackowledge Him, and He will direct your paths”.  Another good one.. I learned this one by heart in Pioneer Clubs as a kid.  Always a good verse to remember, always easy to forget.  Read it again, and again, and again, until it sinks in!

Anway- it’s late here (we’re 8 hours ahead of Toronto time) and it’s time for bed. Good night!

So, here I am at Mayfield Guest House (the AIM guesthouse in Nairobi, Kenya).  It’s been only 2 (full) days.  I’ve experienced so much, met so many people, and loved it all.  I have so many stories to tell.  I saw Mt. Longonot and the Rift Valley, which was BEAUTIFUL! (Google it).  I’ve toured Kijabe Hospital, Moffat Bible College, and RVA… tomorrow we’re going to the Eastern Region Office and International Services, and AIM AIR (to take pictures for Chris!).

Having Sam and Bonnie show me around has been so much fun- they are so great (Bonnie gives me “Chris substitute” hugs”, and we been falling off of our chairs (literally) in laughter, on a regular basis!

Bonnie got stung in the night by the Nairobi fly, which leaves acidic burns on your skin.  Hopefully it will clear up soon without too much discomfort.

Today as I sat gazing out at Mt. Longonot, I praised God for his amazing creation, talking to Him, and thanking Him for everything.  I am so blessed… even in the hardships, He is faithful.  When I am weak, He is strong… and He is exalted!

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito” – African Proverb

There are many a quotation out there on “making a difference”. This one is, I think, one of my favorites by far.

I’ve been twice now. I really enjoyed it both times- the speaking was excellent, the music was average. I figure there’s no such thing as a perfect church anyway. At least this one seems to be relevant. I was challenged to go home and apply scriptural principles to my life. Isn’t that what solid teaching should do? It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten.

My only question with the church is surrounding their perspective on global missions. I’ve heard some stuff from others (mostly negative), but I’m waiting to hear next week’s message, which seems to be quite timely with respect to my question. It’s titled “Why Africa?”.

I’m really looking forward to it.

I'm Red, he's Honey. I'm the writer of this blog and the source of your entertainment and/or boredom. We're parents of an exceptionally adorable child, and we have no idea what we're doing! This blog is the outlet for my thoughts along the way - welcome! Pull up a couch, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while! Or back away slowly. Whatever works.




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