Saturday, April 23, 2011


This week I have been studying the fruit of the Spirit: PEACE. Finished the study on love and joy, so this week it was peace. We all know what the lack of peace in our lives can do. "..a sleepless night filled with tossing and turning, fear that lodges itself like a pine cone in your stomach, a mind and body in perpetual motion, memories that imprison you repeatedly, unending strife, hopelessness, and the general, yet horrible, sense of being out of control."- Beth Moore. When I read that I was like, "Yes, that is me."

So then this week, as if I wasn't feeling like I had enough stress and lack of peace, a situation with an employee arose. The employee lost his temper and walked off the job. The problem was not that the employee has left, that happens all the time. It was the manner in which he left and what happened after he left. He was asked by Jon to leave the property until he could calm down, after being disrespectful to me and to Jon, after being very curt in his words and after saying he didn't need anything from HFC or us. When he was asked to leave the property, he said if he was leaving he wasn't coming back.

Okay, so tempers rose, but what happened after that was the problem. He proceeded to go to the HFC training center and rant and rave down there to the other employees there. Threatening us. Saying he had the pass codes for all the computer systems, the security system, and copies of our passports, etc. At this point the head of our security came and told us what was going on.

My level of anxiety/stress was so high that I really felt like I was going to have a heart attack or panic attack. I wanted to cry, to leave, to shut everything down... just be done with it all.

Did I remember my study on peace at all? Of course not. If I had I wouldn't have felt like I was having a panic attack. Sure I prayed. Tried to take deep breaths. But really? If I had truly internalized, contemplated, dwelled upon what God was trying to teach me, I think I would have saved myself from the panic. Verses like:

John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Philippians 4:7 - "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

PEACE. Wouldn't that be wonderful? To have PEACE no matter what the circumstance. I hope and pray that the more I am doing this study, the more I spend time in God's word, that I will learn. Learn to have peace that transcends ALL understanding.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hot Dogs

Last night we had some good friends over. Usually I make calzones, but because we had gone out for pizza with some out of town guests, I was not in the mood. I decided that we should have hot dogs, good 'ol Ball Park beef HOT DOGS.

Don't get me wrong, back in the US I liked hot dogs once in a while... but here it is a little piece of "heaven" (ok, so not so much) Hot dogs here are down right disgusting. Even if you try to find the "all beef", they have a horrible chemical after-taste.

Regina nicely brought us a whole slew of Ball Park franks. We have discovered that if you freeze the meat, cheese, sausage, etc. that it actually makes it here in checked luggage. THANK YOU REGINA.

So, back to hot dogs. We had friends over to help us partake in the fabulous feast of hot dogs, canned corn, freshly made hot dog buns and pretty good dill pickles. I know, that's just weird to say. Really? A FEAST of Hot dogs?! It's amazing what is exciting after living outside the US and in a third world country. AND, we still have two whole packs frozen in the freezer. TWO PACKS!! It's like I have gold in my freezer. Here... here it's like winning the lottery ticket. What will I do when they are gone?

When Regina brought them over and we told fellow ex-pat's... they were all coveting. I'm sure of it. Salivating and drool were the norm. So of course, each time we have decided to eat the HOT DOGS, we have invited over some of those salivating friends. What else can you do but help to share the joy. (Even if it is so we can partake in any goodies they might receive ;-) )

So thank you to Regina for the hot dogs, and thank you to those who can get as excited as us when partaking of HOT DOGS!!!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Kittens

The latest addition to our family.
Spike had three kittens; Spaz, Red and Pip. They are a month old now. Aren't they cute?

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Rejection. Unloved. Spit out. Hurt. We have all felt this at least once in our life. Sometimes it is a small thing and easily healed. Like when you aren't invited to a party or a sleepover. The next time you are invited, that small hurt starts to heal. Then there are the hurts, the rejections that last longer and run deeper. Like when you have a birthday party and no one shows up. (Yes, this happened to me, not one time, but several.) That hurt runs pretty deep. I still feel sad when I think about it. From the hurt you usually learn something. I made sure my kids always invited enough people so each person could at least pair up. I made sure that when it was time for Valentine's day cards, that they gave everyone in the class one, so no one was left out.

Small hurts, small rejections are easier to handle. What do you do when the rejection is so big and runs so deep that you feel like the only choice you have is to run away, to shut down?

I was placed in an orphanage around eighteen months. I say around because I was adopted around then. I wasn't in the orphanage a very long time, a few months maybe. I was sick and in the hospital. We, my adoptive parents, think that my grandmother had been taking care of me while my mother worked. We think that my grandmother must have gotten TB and died. After that happened there was no one to take care of me, and I was sick, so my mom put me in an orphanage. I was rejected. At eighteen months, how do you handle rejection. Not just any rejection, but rejection from your own mother.

My mom says that for the first few months that I was with them, I would sit in my bed at night and call for my "oma" (mother). I would just call her, over and over again. "Oma, Oma, Oma". She never answered. She never came. Rejected.

At eighteen months I couldn't understand why I was rejected. I couldn't really process the feelings of hurt. Those feelings of rejection have stayed with me my whole life. I have a hard time opening up to people, for fear of rejection.

Just recently I have been rejected again. This time I am not the baby who can't process. This time I process, and re-process. I am angry. I am hurt. I am bitter. I want to run away. I want to shut down. I want to seek revenge. I am on a roller coaster that I can't seem to control. The up's and down's are unbearable. One minute I am fine. The next I am sitting in a corner, sobbing. How do I deal with rejection now?

Just yesterday, my flesh was crying out, again. "It's not fair. I can't do this. I just want it to all go away." I felt like not only was I rejected by humans, but that God just wasn't there for me.

Thank the Lord for a dear friend who is walking with me during this time. She and I started doing a bible study a few weeks back on the Fruit of the Spirit. The last thing I want right now is to learn what I need to change in my life. Yet it is the first thing I need to be doing. So yesterday when I had totally given up, faced rejection for the last time, I forced myself to sit down and listen to the session for the week. Forced myself. Maybe it was because I knew my friend would wonder why I hadn't done the lesson. Maybe it was because I was searching for some kind of hope. Whatever the reason, I sat down to do the session.

God, in all His wisdom, had the session be on, none other than REJECTION. Really.

For the first portion of the session I sat there with my heart hard. She just didn't understand, God didn't understand. My rejection was different. I still wanted to shut down, run away. Slowly God softened my heart. God was speaking to me. Christ knew rejection. We rejected Him, to the point of His death on the cross. He allowed the rejection to take place so that He could restore us. Restore US. He didn't seek revenge. He didn't run away. He loved.

I have some decisions to make. Do I truly believe that God is who He says He is. Do I truly believe that He is the Healer? Is God sovereign? Is God supreme? Was I willing to let go of my hurt, my rejection, my pain? Was I willing to lay it at His feet, to allow Him to work it out?

I Peter 2:4 says,
" As you come to him, the living Stone- rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him-.."

Rejected by men, but CHOSEN by God. I was chosen by God. I am PRECIOUS to Him.

To love deeply, is to take the risk to hurt deeply. Christ gave us the example that we are to live by. To be rejected... that is going to happen. It is what we do with the rejection that makes us different. Do we seek revenge? Do we never love again? Christ calls us to love. Not to love those who love us, but to love those who are enemies, those who hurt us, those who reject us.

Matthew 5: 43-46
" You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (those who reject you), that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?"
(parenthesis and italics added)

So I have called out again, but this time, " Abba, Abba, Father." He answered. He came. He is here with me. Holding me up. Helping me. Healing me. Using this rejection to restore me... if I will only let Him.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dealing with Staff

Ok. So, I have never had "staff" before. Either at my house or in business. Well, maybe you can count when I was a manager at an ice cream store, but they weren't really "my" employees.

Having staff is hard enough I think. Having staff in a foreign country is VERY challenging. At the house it tends to be easier. Although at times it is just as tiring. With staff I am free to do other things, we can buy produce for the Ugandan cost not the mzungu (white person) cost, etc. I can come home after doing things and have a clean house, clean laundry (although sometimes it turns pink). Having staff can be a blessing.

At the Keep.... well, let's just say it is more than challenging at times. This past Saturday was payday. After paying all the staff, it was brought to my attention that I needed to pay a trainee. My frustration with this was that I had sat down this trainee on Tuesday and said that her check list needed to be complete. Whether or not she passed or failed the items she had been trained on. I was specific in saying that SHE was responsible for this. So, Saturday comes and she had not gone to her manager to get tested... on anything. Yet she was saying that she should be paid. (Training here is either at a school, where the trainee pays or at an establishment where they get training for free but don't get paid.)

So, that is not the bad part. The bad part came when my manager told her that he had given me the checklist, and yet I still wasn't going to pay her. Needless to say when I heard this, I had a few words. When confronted, the manager then said that he "attempted" to give it to me but I refused it, and that he had it all ready. I was livid. He lied to the whole kitchen staff, he had never given me the checklist. He never attempted to give it to me, and he didn't even have the sheet ready. When I went and told Jon what was going on, he walked straight over to the manager and told him that he needed to leave.. that no one lies about me and that he, the manager, was lying about the paper.

Fast forward to Monday morning. The same manager comes to me with a paper that had the trainee passing everything on Friday. (mind you that it was written on a paper I had in my hand on Saturday that was blank). He had passed her on all things, checked off on Friday, and filled out on Saturday. Which was another blatant lie.

So what's the point of this? This is a cultural difference. In the managers eyes he was helping provide for the trainee, the village mentality of looking out for others. He did not see any of this as lying, he still doesn't.

Everyday is something new. Everyday a learning experience.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


We tried karaoke at the Keep a few weeks back, and it went well. So now we have it every other Saturday. Tonight we are on. It is a lot of fun for people to just come and hang out, to sing, to dance and to laugh.

No, I do not get up and sing. We have had groups sing, individuals and duets. Jon has gotten up and even sung a few.

I know... nothing exciting to post. Maybe I'll get some pictures tonight of people performing and then it might be an interesting post.