28 November 2014

Nyumbani Mpya Part 2

First of all....

We had a great Thanksgiving day at a missionary get together at dear friends of ours. Then just our little fam kicked off the Christmas season with a family game night in our new cosy little home. The power was out, again, so we played by the light of a flashlight. I'll be honest though, I woke up not in the best mood, thinking about how I missed having thanksgiving with family in Texas and how every year we've been in Kenya for thanksgiving, we've had a big feast in our old house with a house full of friends that come over. I was all sorts of uncomfortable not having this year anything like years past. But thankfully, it was a day of celebrating all we are thankful for so when you continually let your mind look for the good and give thanks to God, well your mood just HAS to change :). And it turned out to be a great day!  We took our three Kenyan sons with us to the thanksgiving party and on the way home, our youngest who us around13 yrs old said "thanksgiving? What's that?"  Ha we all laughed that he had no idea what the party was for. So Baba Bud got to tell the story of pilgrims and Indians. Fun times. 

I wanted to share part two to our transition from a neighborhood where we had our own compound to ourself to now living with our mattaw fam where we share a compound with about 80 people. There are scriptures I've grown up hearing often but wow, when you let them grow in ya, they can come to mean a whole new depth. 

"Delight yourself in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart" psalm 37:4

This is one of those verses I've heard over and over. But the Word says it's not just words on a page but it's alive and active. So what does something alive do?  It grows. So when you have the word planted in ya, it can only grow ya deeper in it. There's always more. 

As I mentioned, for a season, it was so needed and good to not live here. We needed a place to go home to when the "ministry" was done. A place to retreat where we weren't "working" 24/7. We needed to grow in the culture and understand life here better. So even when the idea came to Bud and I over a year ago that maybe we should be moving to mattaw, I thought it was so unwise. And this is why on the "mission field" (which I believe everyone is on, wherever you are, so let's say the international mission field.) So when you're out in another nation doing missions, you just can't put what a missionary looks like and how they live, in a box. Everyone does many different ministries, has various gifts, different callings and places of influence so the way life is lived can look oh so different. You can't compare but have to follow Holy Spirit each step of the way and simply obey. I remember moving into our previous house over 7 years ago, it being a 4 bedroom house and we were newly weds. I felt the guilt big time. And often.  Breaking a poverty mindset that first year of living there and being content was a big good lesson for me. Going from a (pink) mud hut to a shoe box apartment and then this big beautiful home with such a lovely yard. Oh it was hard. But it was what God called us to. I thought you had to live poorly and suffer to fully please God. Error!  Not that living in a mud hut isn't pleasing to The Lord. And suffering according to His will is pleasig in His sight. Well that's all another whole long lesson. But you just gotta do what YOU are called to. Not one part of that compound went to waste. It ended up hosting many people, having our seven kids live in it, had single girls volunteering live in our guesthouse and then lastly had our sprouts babies in the guesthouse before now being at mattaw. It was definitely a place of rest on weary days. But it couldn't be that for us anymore or it would turn into a materialistic place. It was about to be a place I held too tightly to. Not at all because of the looks and size but because it wasn't where we were supposed to be anymore.

So I continued to open my hand and let go of a place and let the time I would delight myself in The Lord, be times I trusted in His Word that he truly would change my heart. 

What I found over the past several weeks is that not only did he bring us peace in moving here, but he gave me a desire of my heart. Total new eyes of love living here with our mattaw fam. Like all those little things I wondered about "would we still have time with just our family", "would we still find rest in our homes when it's needed" "would we be truly living in community with the families there" "would it be home". Well God has totally taken care of it all. 

Coming here has made me realize we don't just have a children's home that we've invested our blood sweat and tears into and built from the ground up. Actually what GOD has done is He made a neighborhood of families. Our kids ride bikes together. They dig in the sand together. They visit each other's homes and the mamas (or me) give out chai. All the kids go home when the sun is setting and have their meals together. This is what we've always observed from the outside but living IN it, we see it really is what God put In out hearts to be. Of course it's not perfect, God has brought us many children from MANY different backgrounds, many tough and heart wrenching backgrounds. Not to mention the house parents and staff all come from many different tribes and backgrounds. So it gets messy sometimes and we are constantly reliant on Gods wisdom. But when it's messy and seems impossible to find unity and family is when God works miracles and His Holy Spirit unifies us all. 

We were quick to set boundaries for family time and it's been the easiest time to guard. I actually have to ask people to come over because they respect us having our own space. I found that this is just life. Bud and I talked about how it so feels normal just to live here and do life together with everyone. We don't live at a project. And we sure don't live at an orphanage. We live in a neighborhood where God has formed families. I couldn't be more thankful! THIS has been a desire of my heart for years. And I wouldn't have known it unless we moved here. God is so smart!  I mean, he invented smart, so why wouldn't he be :). 

Now a few pics over the past few weeks about how life has changed a bit. 

I'm now totally used to getting VERY fresh chicken straight from the chicken house that's on the other side of our backyard. Buying frozen in the store is becoming a bit odd to me now. 

Seeing a cow walk in front of my front door often doesn't freak me out anymore. 

Claire's focus isn't (entirely) on the babies everyday. She now is developing little friendships and is often found fixing hair or sharing her baby dolls and playing. 

We eat sukumawiki (it's like kale) from our garden. A lot. Like, a lot. And we're getting used to the menu out here and enjoying it. We always said when making the menu here that we wouldn't want our mattaw children having a less nutritious meal than our own kids.  I did mention this is NOT an orphanage?! :) 

And just for fun, with it being Christmas time now, here's a throw back to when we were all babies in 2008 and found our first culturally sensitive Santa in Nairobi. 

It was all just in fun. For clarification purposes, we don't teach our children about Santa and we don't tell our white kids he's real. Mostly because why would I want some fake dude taking credit for gifts we spend time on making special for our kids. SMH. We don't ban him though and if he pops up in a movie we watch or
dcorations we put up we view him like we do Cinderella or Tom and jerry. 

And our local new mall in town decided to put some crazy santas up. This one dances and plays a saxophone. 

And this one is actually decent and plays some good Christmas music. 

Next up is the long awaited story of
our two newest sprouts babies and ways we need your help to make this Christmas a Merry Mattaw Christmas! 


NeNe said...

This poat iso beautifully transparent and so honorig of God's loving ways of teaching us and letting us gain our ground over time as we trust him..

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