We have a thing in our marriage. It’s kind of recurring problem, called Hiking. We do it on every vacation, and I’m not sure why. I always think I’m going to love it. It sounds so good in theory. And I’m often proud of myself when I’m finished. But overall, I don’t think I actually like it. I spend a good 80% of the time complaining so I’m not sure why BB keeps inviting me.

Although, to be quite honest, I spend a good 80% of my normal life complaining as well so at least on a hike he gets exercise and a nice view.

See, I’m a bit of a Debbie Downer. I’m not just a glass half-empty person. I’m a glass half-empty of spoiled milk person. When my youngest sister was born, we have video footage of when I first met her in the hospital. My eight-year old response to meeting this little precious thing, said with a huff of reality: “Now we have to go through chicken pox again.” I want everyone to be clear that there are bad parts of everything. Don’t get too swept away in the moment people!

I just find it’s important to keep our expectations low. So while I’m hiking, I can’t think of the present moment of beauty. I can only think about how long it’s going to take, bug bites, my need to pee, the temperature, how if I can’t do this simple hike, then I will never amount to anything in life…you know, the normal thought process of a human.

So this vacation’s hike in Nyungwe Forest was no different. Except that when we got to the valley, there were hundreds of monkeys! Almost made it worth the pain.

We started the vacation with a trip to the beach with some friends. Freddy loves swimming/eating sand.

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Then we drove to the rainforest. The lodge was set among the gorgeous tea plantations.


On the hike, we saw chimpanzee nests.


And monkeys!


It was beautiful. But not painless!

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Week 3 – Prayer

Throughout this month, I have been brought to my knees more than usual.  Most times that I start craving something or feel that temptation coming, I immediately repeat Scripture, a phrase from a praise song or some other mantra to keep my eyes on the Lord.  Some of my favorites – “man cannot live on bread alone but on every Word from God,” “I need thee, oh I need thee,” “Your grace is enough,” and “Jesus will satisfy.”  These mini prayer moments were so helpful and joy-filled.  I need these throughout my life.  

I’ve been reading through some Spurgeon sermons on prayer, and it’s been challenging me to boldly pray.  I’ve been challenged to pray such that I actually trust that God will answer me.  Imagine that? I need to move prayer from the task list to the needs list.  I want God to move in me such that I can’t get through a moment without turning to Him. 

Tomorrow we depart for vacation.  Heading to Tennessee and Alabama to visit sites from the Civil Rights movement.  We have been reading so much about race in America, and we wanted to really dive into this area of history about which we know so little.  Unfortunately and appallingly, as a white American, this part of history has never seemed relevant to me.  I’ve been walking through life thinking that race didn’t matter (easy to say when you are in the majority).  I’ve been learning how wrong I have been!  It’s so hard to learn what really has gone on (and continues to go on) in our country, a place of which I’ve always been proud.  I still believe in the greatness America, and I’m proud to be an American, but those feelings have definitely tempered over the past few months.  Even though I will never truly understand what it means to be Black in America, I owe it my children to learn as much as I can.