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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


I want to write something
about the healing and
the hurting
but I'm too lost in between
and I'm starting to wonder
if they're not maybe
the same thing

Where does one stop
and another begin

I'm starting to think
both come at once
on the gentle waves
of an untamed Grace

Friday, February 16, 2018

journal excerpts + pics 2017

2. 12.17 "your momma must be so proud"
3.3.17. my car started lol
3.26.17 face-timing til one in the morning and eating bagels together a thousand miles away
4.1.17 corn hole at Granny's + banana pudding
4.9.17 planning to skip prom and eat waffles and play xbox instead
5.11.17 mom brought me breakfast in bed whAt
5.17.17 but I ran and ate bread and samoas and drove unfamiliar country roads with wet hair and late sun on my bare arms and now the sky is pink and purple fading to dark behind the trees and it's ok
5.21.17 everything is so good and I'm too scared to think about it or I'll cry cause beginnings mean endings and time slips by so fast and I don't know how to love people well enough yet. what if I've lived all this time and they haven't seen Jesus yet?
5.24.17 "it was probably nothing but it felt like the world"
6.3.17. me:smiling  him:shut up

6.5.17. dad "olivia can you come back in here real quick? i want you to hear a song"
6.11.17 ..i'm here to serve my Savior. i'm here to love, cherish worship, glorify, and enjoy Him above all else. i'm here to serve other people. & i'm so tired of all the other stuff occupying so much space in my finite brain.
6.24.17 everybody home. pizza.
7.4.17 "when we behave this way, when we refuse to love someone and deliberately withold our love from them.. instead of calling them higher, we are condemning them to stay where they are, in their faults and sins and shortcomings. we won't acknowledge the best in them because we want to make them pay for their bad behavior first. we are seeking to punish them, but in doing this we are feeding the very thing we wish to starve and condemning them to be their worst forever." - eric metaxas, "if you can keep it" 12:20am
7.21..17 [what i learned] that it's okay to open up. to listen when it hurts and when you wanna fight back and defend. how pretty the view from jefferson memorial is at sunset. what good thai food tastes like. that we don't always know what God's doing but He's always good and He never leaves us alone. to stop dismissing the psalms that are all about praise.
7.24.17 today i failed a lot. today Jesus said again come as you are
7.25.17 i feel so loved i might die
8.2.17 the ocean $1 tacos 50 cent frosties springsteen's greatest hits sunroof down
8.6.17 and sometimes "for the best" still feels like the worst
x.x.17 the held glance in the mirror of ur eyes, brow creased in concentration, messy hair 11:35am
9.19.17 will having mom in his contacts as mammy
10.2.17 "mY Favorite Things iS to Be With YOU" note from jules
10.21.17 i just can't believe there was a a last time they got to hear his voice and a last time they got to give him a hug and maybe they didn't do it like they meant it. i can't believe for him this life is over already, too soon
10.24.17 never on the day you leave / john mayer
11.10.17 "so also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you"
12.13.17 laying out in the field in the freezing cold under a blanket with the boys to watch the meteor shower "where the heck is the little dipper like what the freak"
1.1.18: "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him" / 1 cor 2:9
and it was Good
how was ur 2017 ??? xo

ps within the next week or so I'm gonna have a "how to journal-ing" post going up on Odyssey. OH I guess I haven't told you guys yet, but I'm writing weekly for Odyssey now, and you can find my stuff all HERE. check back in a week or so and you can see my post on "5 ways to start a killer journal and actually stick with it"! WHOO! sorry this post took me so long I'm kind of the worst. ok thanks love u all bye.