Abide (study #1); 2014; 11" x 15"; mixed media: watercolor and pastel.

Abide (study #1); 2014; 11″ x 15″; mixed media: watercolor and pastel.

I feel a bit like a schizophrenic root system. The contents of my week seem jumbled and chaotic, too many off-shoots to identify a specific direction. I am deep in the soil of life, a tangle of kinked and knotted roots. I have no idea what is emerging above-ground.

I remember another time I pressed the subterranean, oblivious to what was growing above. In those days I woke early, far away from family and all that was familiar. I crept out from my mosquito net, sorted lentils, chopped mangos and avocadoes, cared for three little kids, hung laundry, paced the cage of the compound where we stayed, crawled back under my net, and woke up and did it all over again. For 7 ½ months. Certainly I had a goal – to extract my daughter from a country where the interpretation of adoption laws changed as I tried to fulfill them. Most days I had no idea how to accomplish that goal and simply pressed through the dirt right in front of me. I hoped that God was growing something that would ultimately bring her home with me, otherwise I had no idea why the journey was so harrowing.

Day by day through all the trial and travails, our dear Kenyan friends, the Karaus, carried us. They loved us like family, and I grew to trust them implicitly. Two weeks before leaving Kenya, with Lily’s adoption and immigration process complete and the stress falling away like dried mud, a conversation with Mama Karau suddenly thrust me from haphazard soil to the top of a tree.

“If only I could take in ten or so orphans from Mathare Valley slum and care for them,” she said.

And that is exactly what happened. I went home and asked Hope’s Promise if the organization would be willing to open a children’s home in Kenya. My husband David and I partnered with Brian and Debbie Lee and many other generous friends and family to raise the funds; and now 23 orphans shelter under the branches of Sanctuary of Hope. Plodding along day by day, inch by inch through thick soil, how could I guess what God was growing?

Today I just can’t see where I am going. But somehow I have a hunch that if I abide, if I sink my roots down deep and simply grow day-by-day as He directs, there is something up there in the light, sustained through all these wild winds, defiantly growing new and green.

Abide (study #2); 2014; 8.5" x 9"; mixed media: watercolor, ink, pastel, acrylic.

Abide (study #2); 2014; 8.5″ x 9″; mixed media: watercolor, ink, pastel, acrylic.

8 thoughts on “Abide

  1. Wow! Love your story! I especially love the last paragraph. I recognize the truth there– and doesn’t it just add to the understanding of our hope is in God? Thanks for this reminder that I need to ‘sink my roots deep down and grow where He directs!’ Love this!


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