Thursday, June 16, 2016

For the Days When You Need a Guide........For Just About Everything!

It's not quiet as we step into the forest, but the noise is different than what we are used to ~ hushed, calmed, low and murmuring.
Our guide is leading our pack of kiddos, high rubber boots on his feet and machete in hand.
We've come with our friends to learn more about this old, protected bit of forest and the butterfly sanctuary here.
As we follow our leader's steps, some of the children are tempted to run ahead, but we continually call them back.
In some parts of the world that might be acceptable, but not here.
Here the forests hold many deadly things, including lots of snakes, but that's exactly the reason we explore with a guide: he knows how to keep us on the safe path.
We enjoy our time in the woods learning about trees with spikes, and trees that bleed, trees that can be "shot like cannons" if we get lost, and trees that will treat malaria.
We find giant centipedes, and strange ground flowers, and fungi, and resin oozing out of trees.

After some time we follow the guide out of the forest and enter a small glade full of flowering plants, trees, and bushes.
Everywhere are living flowers ~ butterflies.
They flit and flutter and flash from place to place. The air is full of them.
They are sapphire blue, palest buttery yellow, onyx black, striking coral, sea green, splashes and splotches, and stripes and swirls and dots of every color imaginable.
Some fly in lazy curly-Q's, others zip from blossom to blossom, still more whiz by like hummingbirds, hardly slowing their furiously beating wings for more than a second.
Our guide leaves us here in this safe place to enjoy another aspect of God's creation.
After the dark dampness of the forest, the warm sunshine and these bright jewels that surround us fill us with wonder.

As you may or may not have noticed, things have been a bit quieter in this little spot since January.
This has been a learning time, a stretching time for me, and I've not really been sure exactly how to share it.
Some stories in this life are our own, to share with others as we please.
But other stories don't belong exclusively to us, and those may only be shared with forethought and a good dose of caution.
While there are large portions of my story right now that I can't safely share, I can say this:
In the last six months,
I've been reminded anew what my first hard, grueling days on the mission field were like,
how difficult and tiring and overwhelming my early years of motherhood were,
how hard it was to learn a new language and acclimate to a culture that made no sense,
how easy it was to NOT communicate with my husband or to NOT love him the ways he needed to be loved when we were a young married couple,
how often I felt like an utter failure as a homeschool mama, a cook, and a keeper of my home,
how good God was to give me the guides I needed at just the right moments so that He could keep me on the safe path and bring me to a place of beauty and light.

My life is not perfect, and I do not have "all the answers."
And even though I faced many of these difficulties a long, long way from any physical "aged women," God was gracious enough to use His Word, sound teaching I received in my youth, and godly "book mentors" to help me learn what He wanted me to know.

This summer, I'd like to share just those things ~ some teachings from God's Word and lots of good book recommendations ~ with you.
Since summer is often a time of rest and refreshment, maybe it would be good to set aside some time for your own soul, spirit, and body nourishment ~ marriage, motherhood, cooking, cleaning, homeschooling, teaching...we'll see what else!
As the summer progresses, I'll be giving away a few of my new favorite books, too!

*We'll start on Thursday {Lord willing and the creek don't rise, as my mama always says!} with a great, simple way to stir the hearts of you and your family towards missions.....and I'm pretty sure it's not what you think!

**These pictures are all from our recent trip to Bobiri Forest and Butterfly Sanctuary here in Ghana.


  1. We go to church with your mom & dad. You are in our prayers always. I so appreciate your tranparency & also the ability to peek into your world from what seems like half a world away! I am really looking forward to learning more about what God has been doing in you & for you. God bless - Leslie