Friday, April 22, 2011

Sickness in Springtime

I WAS going to post a beautiful note on springtime and how beautiful it is outside.....but then came the dreaded head cold! Instead of the flowering trees, I've been gazing at these:


I know, not nearly as romantic, but in my situation, much more practical! As I've had much more time in bed lately, I've been counting the number of times I've actually had a cold in the 2 years I've been home from school. I came up with a grand total of..... 3!! That my friends, is miraculous considering I averaged at least that many times each semester in college! Combine that fact with the news I got recently about my diabetic test results (numbers are in normal ranges for the first time in 4 years!!) and I'm a pretty happy camper, runny nose and all!

I'm reminded of James who said that every good and perfect gift comes from my Father above, and I'm so grateful for the gift of staying healthy He's blessed me with in these last couple of years! As for this cold, your continued prayers would be much appreciated, especially with Easter Sunday coming up. This sickness has been a perfect reminder of what He accomplished for me 2000 years ago, for He has conquered death, and soon sickness will be no more! He is Risen!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Visa Question

For months now, I've been anticipating the paperwork necessary to get into Uganda. I thought I had my plan all set: enter the country on a 6 month, multiple entry visa and apply for a work visa while I was in the country. (Work visas usually take 3 months to process.) Then on Wednesday while I was talking to a fellow PILAT participant who is also going to Uganda, he mentioned that he and his wife were praying for their work visas to come in quickly. I casually asked why he was getting them now instead of once they got to the country, and his reply as you would imagine caused great surprise and concern! He said that new law had been passed in November and implemented in January that you could no longer apply for a work visa while you were in the country under a different type of visa. Meaning that I would need my work visa in hand before I attempted to enter the country. My mind immediately started counting (yes, the counting does go a bit slower now than it did in highschool! :) ). I have plane tickets that arrive in Uganda in 6 weeks....it takes 12 weeks to process a work visa!

My first thought was, "Ok God, help! I'm guessing You must know what You're doing, since it isn't readily apparent to me!" I ran to my laptop to email a friend already in Mbale. Thankfully she got back to me quickly with what she knew:

She has a friend in that department who she called for details. The verdict: As long as my application for my work visa was filed before I entered the country, I could enter on a 3 month visa while my work visa was being processed! Whew!!

I know this is just my first taste of many situations to come where my first response must always be "God help!" I am gradually learning to leave all these things in His hands, even if I think there might have been, or possibly might be something that I can/should have done to help the situation. I sure hope the Lord has me deal with many more 'little' things like this to get me in the habit of running to Him first before He introduces the more serious situations! :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Little Taste of Beauty

For years now, I've longed to do a cake decorated with fondant! It was definitely one thing on my own personal "bucket list" before I leave for Uganda, and my sister Michelle's 16th birthday was the perfect opportunity! Here is the finished result:



The process of making each individual flower was so fun, and just the opportunity to be creative with that medium was a blast! Michelle and Mom both helped me with different tasks throughout the process (and yes, it did take as long as that sounds! :) ) As they both helped me through the night, we had several accidents and laughs to remember for years to come.



As I was working, I just really rejoiced in the ability and opportunity to create beauty. As I created each individual flower....

I wondered how much joy and pleasure Jesus must have gotten out of making the real thing! When I was done with each one, my first desire was to show Mom and Michelle. "Look Mom!! Isn't it pretty??" was a very common exclamation! After working to create this whole beautiful world, what did God make? Men! I can just see Him taking Adam and Eve by the hand and walking them through the Garden of Eden and pointing out all the beautiful, wonderful things. "Look Adam! I made this tree with you in mind! Isn't it great!?"

What a blessing to be able to imitate the love of beauty, and the creative passion my Lord demonstrates even in just this little thing! How awesome and incomprehensible it is to be created in the image of God!