Friday, September 7, 2018

leaving home

I don't know if I'm ready to write this.

You never know how much you love home till you leave it. When they hug you too hard and you bite your tongue and try to remember to breathe and not let the heat behind your eyes fall yet cause you know it won't stop. When they shut the door behind them and the car pulls out and they're gone. And you can't stand that you won't be there for the clogging performances, basketball games, rainy Saturday afternoons, the family devotions, math lessons, the fights, the competitions for showers, watching Jeopardy at night, campfires, sleepovers, Dad's days off, and every other in between. And the end of a good thing hurts so bad, because it was a good thing. It was so good. And that's how it's supposed to be. It's supposed to be different now, but that doesn't make it any easier. 
Because your little sister is crying and insisting on one more hug and Mom's trying to keep it together and your brother keeps saying he'll see you soon and Dad's saying how much he loves you. And everything new is wonderful and good but it doesn't keep you from sitting on your bed in your room with the door closed blurring pages of your journal with tears.

every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. james 1:17.

behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. isaiah 43:19.

he has made everything beautiful in its time. ecclesiastes 3:11.

no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 corinthians 2:9.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

the first time

the first time i saw you, you joked with me like we'd been friends for years
your eyes looked so familiar, creased from laughter and sun and sleep missed the night before

how was i supposed to know that you'd be the one
to call me liv and ask if it was ok
to notice the dimples in my shoulders
to take the blame when I messed up 
to distract me with kindness

i didn't know
i still don't know
but i wondered
from that first day
i wondered
what if

Thursday, July 19, 2018

through my eyes: uganda

for those of you who don't know, I'VE BEEN IN UGANDA.
I went through a wonderful organization called Amani Baby Cottage, got to love on and be loved by 2-5 year old girls, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I could. lots of people have been asking me about it, though, and I've been gone so long I felt like I should have something to show for my absence. so here we go: some raw journal entries so maybe you can get a little glimpse of uganda through my eyes. sorry in advance for the run on sentences that never end lol.

6.15.18 It smells like an open fire and chicken over roasted and dark feet on red dirt baked dry by the sun. It smells like smoke and dust, hanging and choking like a cloud in the night. It sounds like motorcycles and horns and locals talking fast and music flying by the window too loud, passing bar after bar. It feels like bleak futures and broken dreams or none at all. It feels like it's too late. Romans 5:8. Ephesians 2:4-8. 1:49 am.

6.19.18. Mama Rosemary, Mama Betty, and Mama Dorothy came up with a Ugandan nickname for me. Balunje: good, beautiful, altogether.

6.21.18. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29. mE.

6.22.18. how the kids say "How are you?" like "Ow ah yoo?"

6.23.18. Sarah pointing at the moon, saying that it was America, and that she's going to go there on a plane one day.. "You going to Merica?"

6.24.18. Davide picking flowers on the walk to church and giving them to me to put in my hair. I SAW THE NILE RIVER.

6.25.18. "Auntie Olivia you no see me. Ah notta heeya." except a thousand times a day.

6.27.18. Rosie climbing on my back, hugging my neck, and singing I have decided to follow Jesus at the top of her lungs during bath time. Danny kissing me on the neck and laughing when I acted surprised.

6.29.18. Hearing "Myzungu!" aka white person and stares following you everywhere you go in town.

6.25.18. Sarah taking a picture with me and surprising me with a kiss on the cheek. HOW CAN I LEAVE HER.

6.27.18. Even in laughter the heart may ache. Proverbs 14:13.

6.30.18. Joram: "Auntie I love you."

7.1.18. Brianna holding my hand wanting me to come swing with her, but me telling her I can't because Auntie gave me a project to do but I love her. Her, looking at me considering, gives my hand a kiss and lets go. Help.

7.1.18. It's hard to describe orphan care in a third world country to someone who's never done it before. Because one minute it's bath and bed time and everyone's sweaty and tired except the kids who are way too excited after playtime and you're trying to dry off soaking wet babies but all the other kids are jumping all over your back butt naked and happy screaming after peeing. And then another minute you open the door and they're running at you with their arms open wide yelling, "Auntie! Auntie! Even me! Pick up me!" And you just love them so much it hurts and it breaks your heart in every way you never knew it would. And you learn sometimes you can't fix every broken thing or heal every hurting heart, but you can always love with everything you've got.

7.2.18 Holding brown faces in my hands and crying and smiling and trying to tell them I love them and I have to go now but it's too hard to speak and they're smiling confused at why my face is all funny and teary. Long hugs and knowing the words left unsaid and loving till it aches deep in your chest like it'll never go away.