I am home now from Rwanda. The flight was loooong and jet lag is winning, but I’m trying to get back into regular life and this blog post is attempt no. 1.
How do you share all that was experienced? There are no words. We had three talented photographers with us to capture the trip in images and I can’t wait to show you them. For now, I’ll just wrap things all up with my current thoughts as prompted by a blog post series I call currently. (here are a few previous versions, if you’re interested). Here it goes …
LOVING // The girls I traveled with. I mean, could you get a more talented, driven, beautiful group of women?
These women are passionate, kind, funny (so funny) and it made our time extra amazing to have each other to share life with. Paige, Jan, Jennie, Wynne, Raechel, Jessica, Jen, Melissa, Meredith & Kelle – you are the best.
READING // The new Justice study starts today on She Reads Truth (a bible study app that I adore). I’m excited to begin to dig in deeper to learn what the Bible has to say about justice. It is a word with sort of a harsh connotation, so it will be good to get a new perspective in light of our work last week exposing us to injustices beyond thinking.
To keep things light, I’m also reading The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society.
WAITING FOR // It all to sink in.
EXCITED ABOUT // the pretty handmade items I brought back with me.
True to my love of neutrals, I came home with black, white and wooden objects – all of them beautifully crafted and little reminders of the beauty of the people and country of Rwanda.
TRYING TO // figure out what’s next. Where do I fit in to making a lasting difference in the lives of the vulnerable? Like I said in this post, now that I know, I can not un-know. What do I do with my life that will make the most impact?
WORKING ON // a new art print with this verse:
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humblywith your God.
– micah 6:8 –
ENJOYING // my husband and kids. I missed them. They missed me. Thankful for the good life we live.
USING // a lot of ice. It was one of the main things I missed with being out of country. Water, unless bottled, is not safe to drink, which means ice is also not safe. Ice is one of my deepest loves. Therefore, I missed it. And now I’m eating a lot of it.
WEARING // this new bracelet. It’s totally touristy and cheesy, but it’s beautiful and meaningful and I’m embracing it.
PLANNING // a noonday party. I’ve never hosted a trunk show and now that I have learned so much more about the company, I can’t wait to spread the word to my friends. The new fall line comes out in a few weeks and from the few sneek peeks I saw, it looks gorgeous. Plus, we designed a new #styleforjustice collection with the artisans and those will be debuted and voted on August 7th!
NEEDING // first instinct answer is nothing. The friends I met in Kigali have so little, and yet they are so generous and grateful. Just a big reminder that stuff does not equal happiness. Safety, provision, relationships, love – these are true needs and all are met in my life. So now, what I need most is generosity and gratitude.
LEARNING // So many things. And I’m still processing. But here’s a short list:
1. Relationships is where change is made and relationships with those who are different than me are so valuable.
2. Life is unfair.
3. Hope is absolutely necessary.
4. The seats on Brussels airlines are very uncomfortable. Take a different route to Kigali next time.
5. People in Africa use facebook. I now have Rwandan facebook friends. Such a strange world we live in.
DOING // Becoming a Freedom Partner with IJM. This organization is so professional and doing good work, I am honored to take a tiny part in partnering.
To learn more about the work of IJM, read Jen Hatmaker’s well-written post. That girl has a way with words.
DREAMING OF // Returning, of course. With my family. I want them to meet my new Rwandan friends and see for themselves what a resilient, forgiving, hopeful, beautiful country it is.
Such a beautiful country.