Luke 24:13-32
This is Jesus heartburn(I have to credit Dallas Willard for this term!)...31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

Friday, December 31, 2010

950. a night of prayer and keeping watch for the new year
951. the arrival of our newest staff member
952. an hour spend holding a child while she slept
953. pepe soup
954. "trust in the Lord! trust in the Lord! trust in the Lord!"
955. another year of life for the caring, trusting, beautiful woman who is my mom! Love you!
956. the confusion that causes my stomach to hurt and the sleep to flee and me to pray anew
957. friends to talk me through it
958. the encouraging word at just the right time
959. another fall and no broken bones
960. "i come with pain, but I go with joy."
961. "see you next year"
962. all things are made new
963. spending New Year's Eve 6 time zones away from home...that means if I'm home next year for New Year's Eve I'll have an extra 12 hours this year...right!?!?
964. there should be fireworks tonight
965. Monday is a holiday too
966. dancing lizards
967. wedding pictures...was it only a year ago
968. scissors returned
969. plans for what's next
970. fresh pinneapple
971. being cool enough last night to sleep under the quilt
972. I. wearing snowpants to bed tonight
973. my SP gals who continue to pray and love on me
974. financial gifts that keep me here
975. electricity
976. new floors
977. getting caught up on emails
978. laughter of children
979. facing fear
980. five suitcases
981. no more goat crying all night long
982. watching kids movies
983. Aunty Musa
984. Aunty Geraldine
985. having enough
986. please don't go
987. confusion over why the new uncle is black not white
988. music all night long
989. a chance to teach
990. text messages
991. hearing Kj sing and Lydia laugh
992. days that pass quickly and full
993. Z. sneaking in to see Aunty Jessie
994. another Christmas Card from home
995. my journal
996. not being alone on New Year's Eve
997. a couch to rest on
998. bananas from up country
999. getting to 999...what will I do next?
1000. a new year, a chance to start anew and see what God will do next
As 2010 comes to a close I think back an realize how crazy this year has been...My baby sister got married, I turned 30, put my house on the market, quit my job, got a beautiful new neice, found myself spending every spare moment with a wonderful man, and moved to Africa! I've lived in 4 different houses, had 6 different house/room mates, crossed the Atlantic 3 times, attempted to learn a new language, learned over 200 new names and faces, and drank more coke than ever before. It's been a year of change...a year of realizing who my true friends are...a year of laughter and lots of tears...a year full of see-ya-later and "we welcome you". I've learned that sometimes when God grants the dreams of your heart it doesn't look like you've always imagined and it's not easy; that gratefulness far surpasses noticing all the junk around you; that the constant conversation with God and the people that He puts in my life is the only way to survive. I'm trying to learn to be present in what is now, with who is now, and with where I am now instead of running ahead but my head is filled with hopes and dreams for what's next!
Whew! I wonder what 2011 will bring!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

921. a new apron--hand dyed by a new friend
922. the sky's gray and dreary and you can't tell where the sky stops and the ocean starts
923. watching hours of movies with I and J...yeah, I'm that kind of babysitter
924. a cup of Starbucks Coffee
925. restful sleep
926. bright colors
927. pictures of family on the fridge
928. morning hugs
929. anticipating a shower in CLEAN only 1 month :)
930. google--it's helpful for all kinds of things, including how to get rid of hair worms and scalp fungus
931. cultural interpreters
932. "sweet Salone, where the women spit through their teeth"
933. day dreams
934. blessings from sweet mothers
935. Eeeh!
936. the cancel button for those accidentally send emails:)
937. picassa
938. donuts...with ice cream!
939. diet coke
940. humble gratitude
945. thunder
946. 5 peacocks next door
947. the smell of a bleached clean kitchen
948. waking up to birds chirping in December
949. "Be all here and be at peace… content… awake —- Alive. When I am mindful of this moment, the mind fills with God and the heart fills with peace and joy-thanks fills the prayers and isn’t the only way God can come to us is through the door of this moment? Here." Anne Voskamp

Sunday, December 26, 2010

800. Merry Christmas
801-891. 90 new Chrismtas outfits!

892. New shoes!

893. New earings!

894. a new dress

895. a donation from "Airtel"

896. Dance!

897. tents...because it was so HOT we had to move the party outside!

898. buscuits from Father Christmas

 899. Joyful smiles!

900. makes a great afternoon snack:)

901. learning about giving our chairs to the "stranger"

902. Big Brother Q.

903. A Christmas Play...complete with shepherd and sheep:)

904. special Chrismtas Food.

905. Happy Birthday Jesus!

906. there are no words to describe how good this tastes when you feel like it's a MILLION degrees out

907. that feeling that you've eaten too much special Christmas food.

908. a new keyboard

 909. new drums to rock out on
910. GIFTS to give

911. the "strangers" among us

912. having enough gifts to give our visitors one-one

913. giving away FOOTBALLS!

914. the dollar store in the US...where you can get enough gifts for everyone on a small budget

915. the Book of Hope...donate by some new missionary friends

916. new "motorcars" that make noise and flash lights...from "Father Christmas"

917. new sandals from him too

918. Merry Christmas!!
919. EVERYONE who gave to make this Christmas special in Sierra Leone!
920. Skyping with my family last night! I MISS YOU!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

754. fb messages from friends
755. Christmas cards hanging in the dinning room
756. all the girls getting their hair done for Christmas
757. making Christmas cookies to share
758. we turned a piece of cardboard into a laptop and "talked" to our sponsors!
759. Christmas drawings from the kids
760. loving, concerned aunties
761. a donation of 2423 cans of we just hope our kids like it
762. a donation of crackers, juice, rice and buscuits from Sierra Leone's Father Christmas...too bad he had malaria and couldn't wear his suit
763. A. asking the guy from Mercy Ships if he was Father Christmas's father!?!
764. A present to open on Christmas Day! Thanks Michelle!
765. bonding time with Z.
766. I got all 4 asleep at the same time!
767. a long staff meeting about keeping the kiddos healthy
768. the promise of a HOT shower tonight
769. watching 2 men spend HOURS wrapping gifts for the boys
770. Inviting the neighbors to our Christmas Party
771. jokes
772. hope for the future
773. watching Ice Age with Santos
774. Osseh's new bling
775. things that make me laugh
776. the small Christmas Tree on the coffee table
778. chocolate cake from Aunty Marie
779. sleeping past 7am
780. a visit from an Aunt
781. plane tickets home
782. pictures
783. finding everything I "lost" today
784. spagetti
785. bottle caps and lids that provide hours of entertainment
786. a clean living room
787. a slow walk up the hill holding one small hand
788. "Why are some people poor and some people rich?"
789. "One Imam told me...but I want to know what you think"
790. a hundred hugs, everyday
791. quiet, stillness
792. the ocean out the front window
793. our 7 coming in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 5th, 6th, and 7th in their classes at school
794. enough left over soft drinks to provide refreshement
795. a new idea
796. breathing in GRACE
797. night time prayers
798. a few moments to stop and paint my toe nails
799. "The Grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the Sweet Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, today and forevermore."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

676. dancing under the stars
677. Sleep!
678. talking with the kids about Jesus coming as the best gift ever
679. giving Christmas Presents to the staff
680. getting Christmas Cards from friends from home...thanks Jim & Joyce, Joel & Holly, and Grandpa & Grandma Logan
681. a letter from Kj with the verses she is learning on it
682. a big brother who takes good care of his younger siblings...all 83 of them
683. "I've never enjoyed my life so much!"
684. nap time with Jr. (I am AMAZED that I managed to get this 3 year old to stop long enough to sleep...I failed with his older brother...mostly because I fell asleep myself!)
685. No school this week!
686. a school outing to the BEACH
687. that Pastor Daniel complains about the amount of peppers in the rice more than I do. WOW! that was some HOT stuff!
688. finding a cab last night! YIKES!
689. finding a chocolate cake in the it magic or is it Marie?
690. being up late enough to see the moon reflect off the water
691. a horse on the beach
692. watching or kids at a school outing be the most respectful, well behaved ones there
693. Pastor Daniel intervening when kids in the community do stupid things
694. homemade chocolate chip cookies...that I made myself!
695. popcorn
696. watching Popeye with Sam, Fallah, and Alie
697. sleep walkers at a party:)
698. "It's my job!"
699. sticking my head in the freezer to remember home and why it's good to be here in December:)
700. God's protection from harm
701. Singing "Joy to the World" at the top of our lungs
702. a present to open on Christmas Day
703. smile box
704. practicing being present
705. tank tops and flip flops in December
706. accepted apologies
707. a new week
708. The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. John 1:14
709-752. Our 40 staff and 3 volunteers! Love them!

753. A little FUN of my own (it's supposed to be a balloon dog?!?)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

658. loud laughter over some crazy African film coming up from downstairs
659. standing upright after a day of sickness
660. fighting with the reminds me of Crossroads! I fought with that printer everyday for 6 years and I miss it...
661. visits from the kiddos
662. my mom's Christmas letter
663. A Christmas dinner invite...they have a TURKEY!
664. honest conversations about life here
665. just be present
666. "professional" pictures of our Sunday party
667. Jessie's dress
668. a cold couch
669. a change in weather that actually makes it feel cool every once in a while
670. a mix-up avoided
671. soup
672. "the devil is a liar!"
673. time to say thanks again
674. coke in the fridge
675. a gift of bananas

Sunday, December 12, 2010

644. a few days "unplugged"
645. getting my internet back
646. not breaking anything on the stairs
647. making cookies
648. a honest converstation about why Santa Claus doesn't deliver presents to Africa..."if he's real why does he only like people from America?"
649. my sis-in-love's list of thank yous
650. that I don't have to complain about the snow...I can complain about missing it though!
651. an interpreter who is a phone call away
652. laughter
653. devotions in the gazebo with the girls
654. a new week
655. the silence downstairs which means I can go to bed
657. hope.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

620. hot showers
621. a picture of what it could be
622. a grandmother's tears and courage
623. knowing that growth and change is happening even when I don't see it
624. a thank you
625. laughter over small things
626. one step closer to a car
627. an inbox full of encouragement and news from home
628. excitement about a Christmas Party!
629. an ipod full of movies...thank you Osseh for sharing!
630. catching a glimpse of how wealthy I am
631. a lock on the door
632. a moment to catch my breath
633. Il Divo
634. anticipating a Christmas Eve bonfire...roasting marshmellows and singing that's a new one!
635. wata de
636. Mercy Ships
637. all the ducklings are safely home again for another night.
638. conversations with Q. about that cream or yellow?
639. Pastor Daniel coming to rescue us again
640. Fatima and Kelvina
641. another request...another answer
642. cucumbers and tomotoes!!!
643. the Lord has sustained me for one more day...thank you!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

600. moving day
601. new Christmas songs
602. nightime walks up the hill
603. flashlights
604. sweating more because I just saw a Sierra Leonian wearing a parka and knit hat
605. skype with my dad
606. finding a taxi in the dark
607. several hours of baby time
608. a good example and role model
609. I'm done, done!
610. dreams
611. the police band coming to play Christmas music (BEFORE midnight!)
612. cooking for myself today
613. Aunty Alice
614. the excitement of 3 girls getting the chance to cook on their own
615. a hunt for cookie-cutters
616. a new offer of support
617. lessons learned...the hope that they don't need to be taught again
618. gentle reminders to trust
619. how the message I prepared for the children turned into a message for me..."if it's what you want Pappa God, it's okay with me"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

583. encouragement from friends
584. The "Women's Vocational Training Center and Saloon" that's not a typo...this is a great place to go learn how to fix hair and give manicures in Freetown;)
585. "The baby had given up the vaults of heaven to be born in the valley of a feed trough, and the cradle for the baby was the manger for the animals, the place where all the ones wandering in the fields came to be fed. Born in Bethlehem, the town with the name that means house of bread, the baby came to feed all the lost ones." Ann Voskamp
586. a new watch for Sam
587. the gift of laughter over the craziness of it all
588. "Aunty...did you go to America yesterday, we did not see you all day?"
589. the sweet ones who shared with me today that their papas died in the water and they still dream about...I am so grateful that they are talking!
590. a mother's dreams for her 8 year old son
591. baracuda...yes we eat baracuda here
592. my new dress coming back from the tailors
593. cipro...our new best friend
594. a ride home
595. Moses
596. surviving town
597. that the first rat I saw in SL was already dead and I missed stepping on it
598. words that whisper to my heart
599. My God who says, "I know my daughter, I know."

Monday, November 29, 2010

576. new feet
577. the simple ask...I want to read
578. resolution
579. new ceilings
580. the possiblity of a french silk pie blizzard in 2 months
581. a fixed toilet
582. purse shopping tomorrow

Friday, November 26, 2010

491-536. The 45 precious children whose birthday's we celebrated today.
537. Watching the staff get so excited about a PARTY!
538. Shoe shopping...

540. Our babies survived the party chaos...
541. The future pastor
542. Beautiful Girls.
543. Fine bobos.
544. Helpers to cut the cake.

545. Mother and child
546. Auntie Patricia

547. Fruity drinks and Isatu

548. Surviving shopping in ton
549. Avoiding a fight because I didn't give the crazy man at Lumley a visa
550. reading a book for a 2nd time and finding out that i totally missed the point the first time.
551. Staff prayer in the afternoon
552. new socks
553. walking a mile to get new socks
554. the same 6 imodium pills in my purse as a month ago!!! (that means I haven't used any this month! WOW!)
555. reunions
556. saying no to buying things that I don't need because you can still shop online from Sierra Leone and that's bad when all 5 seasons of House are on sale!
557. BBC radio
558. sharing food
559. finding the right fabric
560. strawberry, kiwi, banana crystal light
561. drinking 1.5 l of water today!
562. a nice bed with a mosquito net to sleep under
563. aloe vera
564. passing 200 cars stuck in traffic and still making it safely home
565. God's protection everyday
566. 3 more packets of candy corn
567. dreaming up a Christmas pageant for the kids
568. hip, hip, hooray
569. at The Covering we pray for each on birthdays...and God's gifts are enough
570. hearing the kids sing, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made!" with extra enthusiasm
571. hearing the kids sing a song from CEF (I remember it from backyard Bible Club) "I am inright, upright, downright, outright happy all the time!)
572. Watching Mohamed and Daniel counsel a mom who misses her children
573. Aunty Marie baking 4 cakes from scratch
574. cold coke--a gift from Rema
575. a family that loves all looked so cozy in your turtlenecks and sweaters yesterday...I miss you!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

472. visits from Julia
473. kind words spoken
474. Love never fails
475. Il Divo Christmas CD
476. a yam and a bag full of oranges
477. "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree...they will flourish in the courts of our God." (Ps. 92:12-13)
478. a Christmas Card in the mail
479. watching the kids share their lunch with strangers
480. books read over skype
481. older sisters who translate stories for their brother
482. diligent care of our sick ones
483. NPA back on
484. a peaceful neighborhood
485. the simple "have a nice day"
486. counting blessings...I'll get there by Christmas!
487. healthy days
489. Osh ya
490. Lynnay and Lynae!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

462. little boys eating with forks and knives for the first time
463. intent eyes watching every move
464. the Word of God spoken at training this morning
465. knowing what 11 million in cash looks like
466. taking to Kj, Lydia, Lydia, and Anna
467. the bat that managed to get in the house also managed to leave the house
468. email
469. clean water to brush my teeth
470. Praise Him, Praise Him all you little children...God is Good, God is good!
471. 60 years of marriage

Monday, November 22, 2010


452. the beach!
453. sand between my toes.
454. long talks about living life in W. Africa
455. talking with my parents over skype
456. "we are standing...good morning Auntie Cari, good morning friend!"
457. taking time to be really grateful
458. a fantastic dinner
459. Aunty Marie having school with the, fly, fly
460. road construction (praise God in everything) rsght
461. "God isn't nice. God isn't safe. God is a consuming fire. Though He cares about the sparrow, He rarely dotes or pampers. His main business is not ensuring that you and I get parking spots close to the mall entrance or groceries on sale this week. His main business is making you and me holy."

Saturday, November 20, 2010


444. the sound of children giggling outside the door
445. when God answers a prayer before you really even ask it
446. the humility of knowing that I will never be able to carry a 5 gallon bucket of water on my head
447. the reminder of ALL that I take for granted
448. a day set aside to rest and reflect
449. the chance to cook my own food
450. free books
451. The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. Proverbs 10:28

Friday, November 19, 2010


A thumbs up from Victor


So sweet.


Starting to feel better!

Play time!

Cheese Ball.


Take my picture!

Pose for the camera.

A nice moment.

Joy, Joy, Joy!

Fun with Uncle Daniel

Pile on Aunty Jessie!

My buddies.

School time!

New Friends.
Mary smiles! WOW!

Sunset off the balcony!

Can you believe how good God is?!?


Kj...this one's for crawled into my shoe and I stepped on it BUT I didn't scream!
You'd be proud of your Aunty Cari!