Sunday, July 5, 2009

My 3 Worlds

Hey Yall! Sorry its taken me forever to write. GUESS THE GOOD NEWS IS I MADE IT HOME SAFE. On May 30th. I have taken some much needed R&R time and have also done a lot of visiting and 'catching up' with family. Its amazing how much changes in peoples lives in two years. Best Friends buying houses and having babies - my oldest Brother preparing for a wedding, sister graduating from college, my brother Jordan driving and working...Enough to make a sane person crazy ;). Upon returning from Africa I have come to the realization that I now have not one or two but three different worlds. Since I was an infant I have been traveling back in forth between Carolina and Florida. Now - God has added Africa into the mix. My Mom defined it this way when I was having a meltdown moment over missing my UG peeps - " You can take a girl out of Africa - but you can't take Africa out of a girl.." That statement really does sum up how I feel right now. A piece of my heart has always been in New Smyrna Beach Florida (with Daddy Jim, Mom -Katie, Jordan,Madisen) and in Youngsville North Carolina (with Momma, Daddy Todd, Cory. Now a chunk of my heart remains in Mbarara with the people there I have left behind. Before leaving the field - I was really struggling with the fact that I may never see some of these people ever again. I kept questioning the Maker of the Universe askin Him why he allowed me to get so attached to the people of Uganda. Right before departing the the continent - I spent like a week in South Africa - one of the missionaries there really encouraged me. She told me " You know what Jena your heart CAN AND DOES GROW BACK with time..." I quickly thought yeah right lady. Doesn't the song say ' you give and take away - you give and take away - my heart will choose to say Lord bless it be your name' . But then the more I thought about it the little light bulb in my brain slowly but surely turned on. He does give and take - and our hearts CAN choose - but the part that was new was the GROWING BACK THING. What an earth shattering concept to Jena's peanut brain. Guess I always thought that once you give your heart away to others - that afterwards there was intense chunk or gap or hole or whatever you want to call it that forever remained etched out. I thought look Ms. Phyllis I am spent - I don't have anything emotionally left to offer. I can't give out any more love. But FLASH - Just in that moment she encouraged me that He can mend that hurt and ENABLE you to love again. Just because those pieces are gone - doesn't mean that there’s not any left. Its there.

 Anyway, I could go on and go - but I'll stop - I am so grateful that Jesus has given me the opportunity to be involved in the lives of people whether it be the Sunshine State, Y-town, or Mbarara Uganda. This journey has been unforgettable - Thank you Abba for choosing me your servant to go be involved in the lives of your people. Thank you for the passion you have placed within me for the HUMAN HEART. Thank you for your comfort. The following verse has provided comfort to me when the tears begin to flow when the faces of those both near and far flash through my head. 

1 John 3:18-20 Dear Children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we SET OUR HEARTS AT REST IN HIS PRESENCE whenever our hearts condemn us. FOR GOD IS GREATER THAN OUR HEARTS, AND HE KNOWS EVERYTHING."

In closing, I just want to say how grateful I am for your prayers!! Without the Holy Spirit intervening through you - I wouldn't have had this amazing chance to love. I can't thank you enough.

Monday, April 27, 2009

He Watches

“My” girls (Jana/Sarah) and I have been having some sleepless nights of late – for no very good reason. Tonight before heading off to “my dungeon” (that’s just how we refer to my room downstairs – didn’t want any of you to think I was a dragon) we discussed that we must be battling the enemy in some way, shape or form for all of us to be not sleeping at the same time. I reminded Jana and Sarah that we were probably doing something right for Christ – which the Devil does not appreciate. So anyways the girls knew just what to do. We prayed for Jesus to cover our “mansion” with his blood protection. After tossing and turning the whole of last night – Jesus blessed me with this devotion.

“A sensitive, timid little boy, long ago, was accustomed to lie down to sleep in a low ‘trundle bed,’ which was rolled under his parents’ bed by day and was brought out for his use by night. As he lay there by himself in the darkness, he could hear voices of his parents, in their lighted sitting-room across the hallway, on the other side of the house. It seemed to him that his parents never slept; for he left them awake when he was put to bed in the morning. So far this thought was a cause of cheer to him, as his mind was busy with imaginings in the weird darkness of his lonely room.

After loving good-night words and kisses had been given him by both his parents, and he had nestled down to rest, this little boy was accustomed, night after night, to rouse up once more, and to call out from his trundle-bed to his strong-armed father, in the room from which the light gleamed out, beyond the shadowy hallway, ‘Are you there, papa?’ And the answer would come back cheerily, ‘Yes, my child, I am here.’ ‘You’ll take care of me tonight, papa, won’t you?’ ‘Yes, I’ll take care of you, my child,’ was the comforting response. ‘Go to sleep now. Good night.’ And the little fellow would fall asleep restfully, in the thought of those assuring good-night words.”

By: Henry Clay Trumball – Keep A Quiet Heart - Author: Elizabeth Elliot

Psalm 4: 8 “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Psalm 63: 6-8 “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”

Psalm 121

“I lift my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over (Jena, Jana & Sarah) will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over (Jena, Jana & Sarah) – the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over (Jena, Jana, & Sarah’s) life: the Lord will watch over your (our) coming and going both now and forevermore.”

For the record – you would think that after spending two years alone in Uganda this girl would be use to spending sleepless nights alone but– ummm NOPE! Don’t get me wrong Jesus has been the perfect companion for me - but there is something very comforting about the fact that I am going home to be in my own bed on Hill Road in Youngsville in only 34 DAYS. (That’s only thirty- three nights) Just sayin…. Holla at you later gang! MMMMMMMMMWAH

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Little Man Trevor

Read the April 13th post for more information on Trevor.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Jake says 'Happy Birthday!'