Wednesday, April 27, 2011

our new blog...

It is time to move to Word Press... Please come follow me at

I am so excited to see what God is doing in the lives of so many as we learn to love and serve together.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Ethiopian Mansion, A Means to an End.

When we moved into the apartment last fall, the dream was unfolding but the goals were clear. We wanted to know more about Ethiopia, we wanted to have little or no debt including our properties, we wanted to know who we could partner with and where monies could be used well to help.

We knew we wanted to be givers and not just consumers. We wanted to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Now, as our trip has come and gone and the Ethiopian mansion begins to feel very small, I feel it is time to ask the question, "Is it time to make the transition into a more permanent home?" I feel conflicted. I dont want to loose sight of the sacrifice that made this experience real for our family. Part of the gift of the trip to Ethiopia was walking away from our big house and from many of our treasures we had stored up for years.

I do want to feel a little more settled. A little less in transition. Even if we just buy a small condo, a place to call home that we can invest in. Isn't that the American dream? At the same time I feel so unsettled in my heart. Many of my Ethiopian friends don't even know what it means to be "settled" into a long time comfortable home. My American friends living in Ethiopia live lives far from "settled". They are in constant transition.

It is so hard to describe the lack of consistancy they walk through each day. Items on the menu in a coffee shop or restaurant are rarely the same as they are often running out of items and supplies, streets are of filled with traffic or workers changing routes, taxi's are difficult to get and not consistant, even little grocery stands dont carry the same items from week to week. I remember how hard it was to find a Diet Coke in Ethiopia and then when I was so delighted to find it at one store, three days later, they no longer carried it! Power and water are running one day and not the next without real rhyme or reason. Packages might come and then not come. This all might seem quite insiginifigant but it isn't. Almost every area of their lives, they have chosen to allow it to be unsettled in Ethiopia. All in Love. Embracing the culture and their new lives with the hope of seeing hope and love come to people who would not likely find it on their own.

So why do I want to much to be "settled" and feel like I can rest again? Our lives here on earth are only temporary anyway. My heart won't allow me not to be motivated to help. Our ability to make a difference isn't going to change with a small move. I do hope I will be able to sleep again at night and maybe think more clearly. I know God has good gifts for our family and for the temporary has not called us to move to Ethopia. He has called us to help. I just want to live like I care for others as much as myself. Whether it is my neighbor in Tualatin, Oregon or in Ethiopia Africa. I want to do my part and not be so absorbed with my own dreams and aspirations and desire to be settled that I loose sight of the goals...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Take aways from Ethiopia, the simple things.

If I could aspire to greet my friends and family like an average Ethiopian, I would show amazing love like most American's have ever known in a greeting!

If I could be a better person by following the example of the Ethiopians, I would learn to embrace like they do. When a person walks into a room, one at a time you circle the room, grabbing the other person, shaking their hand and often kissing their cheeks at least 2 if not 4 times. The Ethiopians ask each other about their families and how they are with all sincerity. Not a person in the room is left out. Each person rises to meet the other and everything stops for such greetings.

The same happens when someone leaves. I have heard even in businesses when someone comes to work that they will greet even 100 people in this way.

Taking the time to really look a friend in the eye. I have to admit, my greetings can some times look like a head nod to the front while picking up toys, cooking, talking on the phone and putting on my socks all at the same time! Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration, but real concern and love for everyone who comes in my front door and who I meet each day. Looking at them directly in they eye and giving a great big hug that says I care. This is something I can be much better at and aspire too.

Thank you Alex for your inspiration and wonderful example.