Let the New Year begin with reflections on the past year...
I had a new blog topic just about every week, but never had time to enter them in, so here's a quick synopsis of some of the blogs that I wanted to type from July through December:
Yay! I got blessed with a Kindle as a birthday/Christmas gift! I love to read, but being in Mozambique, it's kind of hard to have a huge collection of books or access to a good public library. Now that I have a Kindle, I can carry a huge collection of books with me wherever I go! So far, I've downloaded some free books, mostly cookbooks and classics, some free games, borrowed a library book from the public library in CT., and purchased the Kindle version of my Spirit Filled Life bible. It's great!
I came up with a few new recipes and recipe ideas:
*Chicken pot pie-Since we don't buy meat often because of the expense, I sometimes try to make the meat stretch for more than one meal...we can usually get at least 2 meals out of this one!
*Tiffany's Own Bran and Fruit bars-These I made with some bran that a missionary found in bulk in Malawi and shared with all the Lichinga missionaries for free. I hardly ever baked with white flour when we lived in the U.S. so a little bran in all of my recipes helps me to feel a little bit healthier! (These bars I created as a healthy snack alternative when I was pregnant and hungry! Sorry, I lost the photo that I took of these.)
*Sourdough Pizza crust-Whenever we happen to have pepperoni from the U.S., Lichinga happens to have cheese in town, and we happen to have the money to buy it-all these conditions occuring at the same time-I usually try to make pizza. I tried a sourdough version for the crust, since I've been experimenting with sourdough, but I decided to stick to my regular yeasted crust recipes! In my opinion, sourdough is not for pizza!
His Grace is Enough:
Reflecting back on my pregnant days with Berasia, I realized that the grace I thought I didn't have during those times of lack of sleep, lack of comfort, and sometimes lack of just being able to walk normally towards the end, was actually there all along! Through His grace, He enabled me to homeschool my children, teach at the bible school, host visitors to our center, pray and intercede regularly for my family and Iris Lichinga, invent new ways to enjoy normally mundane food (smile!), and a host of other things! Only during times when I trusted in my own strength, did I feel weak and inadequate while doing the things God has called me to do. I'm still learning that when I do the things God wants me to do, His grace is enough!
Christmas with Jesus:
When someone asked me, "How was your Christmas?", I responded, "Great!" I didn't give any detail, but I'd like to share about how my Christmas turned out to be so great. It started some weeks before Christmas when I usually like to prepare our home with festive decorations that remind me of this special holiday. We also usually sing Christmas/Advent songs every night until Christmas day. Since we've been in Lichinga in our own house, we usually decorate a small fake tree every year. Well, none of these things happened according to plan this year.
Then, the Wednesday before Christmas, we found out that some people we know here were involved in a horrible car accident after attending a Youth Conference in another province. One of them actually died in the accident. That night we (our family and others here at our center) spent hours together praying and interceding, hoping that God would raise the dead! It didn't happen.
On Christmas day, the parents in a new family that just joined us at Iris Lichinga were sick and mostly confined to their beds all day. We babysat their 2 boys during the day so that they could try to rest and heal. Tyren spent time during the day driving people to and from church services because there was no other available car. By the time we got to sit down as a family together, it was around 7 or 8 at night. Yet, strangely enough, at the end of the day, I realized that it was all good! Through it all, God allowed me to see and partake of His goodness.
None of these circumstances turned out the way I (along with others) would have preferred, but God allowed me to see that His will was done and that's all that mattered. Yes, I've still left out lots of the details, but His love was shown and His love prevails. Once I realized that everything worked out according to His perfect will allowing His love to prevail, I was satisfied, and I can honestly say in all truth that I had a great Christmas!
May God bless you much this year as we walk in His grace and the revelation of His love!