Friday, July 18, 2008

Keeping Silence, Belle, Ghana, Eternal Optimism

The past few days, I’ve been a bit quiet. Some folks would laugh at that; I guess I have a reputation for talking. But if you really get to know me, you know that I like my “quietly alone” time.

I’ve fasted from TV. That’s not a really tough thing for me to fast because frankly I don’t really enjoy watching that much. But this week, since I’m home alone, I’ve felt the need for solitude and time to commune with God in preparation for next week’s journey back to Ghana. I confess that I have played several worship cds, at night and during the heat of the day.

Instead, I’ve spent most of the past two days outside, listening to the backyard symphony of birds, crickets, frogs, horses, cats, & dogs. I’ve watched the tiny hummingbirds swarming my feeder. Blue indigo buntings & brilliant red cardinals fly from tree to tree.
So my “silence” really wasn’t quiet, at all!

The sun’s warmth reminded me to drink my water, to which I added a sliced lemon and some sprigs of mint from my herb garden. The brilliance of the unclouded days made me grateful for my sunglasses! The breezes were gentle and cooling.

I’ve had a few health issues in the past couple of years, and am grateful to God that I seem to be returning to better health. I realized, just this morning, that I woke up fully refreshed – for the past several years, I’ve felt nearly as tired at daybreak as I did the night before.

But – just as my “silence” wasn’t really silence, my “solitude” really wasn’t alone. God was here, as well. And we’ve had several long conversations – a few aloud, many silently. These past few days have been such a treasure, a blessed time to draw near to Him, so He could embrace me with His presence. The stresses of my job, the worries about finances & health – all seemed to vanish and I’m so grateful for the things I’m feeling and learning!!

Yesterday, I did detour a bit from the silence and visited my grandma, Belle. It was her 95th birthday! She was enjoying the day, several friends & family members stopped by for a short visit.
I recall so many happy days with her & my grandpa! Some of my earliest & fondest memories involve going to the beach with them! We have videos of our childhood, because Pop had an 8mm camera! I love stepping back in time to the 1960’s to see all of us “in action” once more!
Belle could make the absolute world’s BEST peanut brittle! I remember going to her house, many times, when she’d have pans of freshly cooked candy, cooling in tin pans. Once it had hardened, she’d wrap it in foil and share it with neighbors and of course my sister & me! What I would give to have just one more chunk of that stuff!
And another thing she made that was delicious was sweet potato pie! It would melt in your mouth! I don’t think she had a real “recipe,” but my daughter has experimented enough that she can make them now!

Ghana – in less than a week now, we’ll be there!!! I’m tingling with the anticipation of seeing my friends, eating fresh fried plantains, drinking “Pure Heaven” which is a mix of pineapple juice, mango juice, & coconut milk, soaking in the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells once again. I sometimes refer to Ghana as my “other home” because I just FEEL at home there, as much as I do here in NC. It’s difficult to explain. But I suspect that it has a lot to do with the spiritual immersion I get when I am there!

We have a couple of projects we’re working on. Many of you have helped with contributions toward our work in the orphanages, and we so very much appreciate that! We’ll be purchasing school supplies there, likely Friday or Saturday so we can begin distributing them. I’ll definitely keep you posted!
Another project we’re working on is in the early stages. Reverend James has been working toward planting churches & evangelizing in many out-lying villages. We will be visiting two of them: Adzigbo Korpe & Avedzi.
Neither of these villages have running water; we are feeling led to try to raise the funds to punch wells in both of them. Often times, a well in a village not only improves the sanitation of the drinking/cooking water but provides a way for the government to provide electricity as well! (Hey now THERE’s a real “Silver Lining!” So please join us in prayers about this project, and if you feel so led, to contribute.

I need to mention how grateful I am for my husband, David. He has a heart of gold, and a love for Jesus that makes him shine like a star! His generosity to others is overwhelming! One of his nicknames is "Eternal Optimist" and I have to say that his upbeat personality is one of the things that initially attracted me to him. But honestly, I've never seen him lose his cool (even when tough situations happen), and his optimism picks me up when I feel like I'm dragging!
So, EO -- I feel so blessed to share the BEST of your life!

Of course, we both covet your prayers as we leave for Africa next week!

Blessings to all!!!

Anita <><

No comments: