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Ethiopia: October 2011

August 22, 2011

I love lists.
When I feel overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” that needs to get done, I sit down and write down everything that needs to get done. To some this may seem even more overwhelming, but for me it calms me down. After I write down all the nitty-gritty that needs to be accomplished, I realize that all the “to dos” got much bigger in my head than they needed to become.
Today is no different. I have created a list for today, for tomorrow, for the next two weeks, and even the next month. Why you ask? Within the next two weeks, I am moving from the south, across the United States, traveling through Canada and arriving at my final destination of Anchorage, AK (where I will call home for at least the next three years). But it doesn’t end there. Two weeks after my arrival in Alaska, I once again pack my bags to travel to Ethiopia for one month. Say whaaaat?!!
I know. I’m crazy.
But I am excited!! My life has always been hectic, or at least to me it seems and (truthfully) I like it that way. It makes me put my faith in action. I read from Matthew 6:27-30 today and I had to let out a big “Amen” for it fit perfectly to the point I am it in my life.
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?”
The truth is, I had a freak out moment this weekend. I sat here in my living room and I rattled off a bajillion (yep, it’s a real number) of things that needed to get done to my very patient husband who stared at me wide-eyed. Then I stopped, took a deep breath and remembered to “cast all my cares” on the One who holds the future. I had let my wondering (i.e. what if the movers don’t come on time? What if we don’t find a place to live in Alaska before I have to leave for Ethiopia? What if I forget to tell Matt which bills need to be paid and by what date?) open the door to fear. It’s a choice I have to make to trust God that whatever my future holds He will enable me to handle it when the time comes. I have to remember that wherever I am going, God has already been there and has paved the way for me (and for you).

Speaking of paving the way, I am excited to share with you what Lo and I will have the chance to do while we are in Ethiopia.

October 3: Anchorage, AK—>Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
We will stay in Addis until October 9. While in Addis we will stay at the Ethiopia Guest Home (where I stayed in 2008) and visit a women’s program that has been created to teach women a trade where they create jewelry and the funds they generate go directly back to the women. I feel honored to see this ministry in action and to commune with these women.

Mission Ethiopia: Empowering Change from Session 7 Media on Vimeo.

Lo and I will also get a chance to experience the “city life” of Addis Ababa, traveling to Sabahar textile studio (where shawls that I gave away as gifts at my wedding were weaved), eat traditional Ethiopian food, grab a coffee at Kaldi’s (Ethiopian Starbucks) and buy some fresh roasted coffee beans (no, serioulsy…the freshest coffee beans I’ve laid my hands on.)

Kaldi's Coffee - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

October 9: Addis Ababa—>Arba Minch
Lo and I will hop on a plane to travel to Arba Minch where Tom and Teresa have rehabilitated their home which serves as their outpost for their work. We will stay with them until November 2 and see much of the area and work with Tom and Teresa putting binders together for the vocational training of health and hygiene classes with the locals of Turmi, Ethiopia.

November 3: Addis Ababa—>Anchorage, AK
Return “home” to Alaska and be greeted by my Matty and sweet pup.

Are you feeling my excitement? My goodness, Ethiopia is seriously the greatest place I have ever been. I know I am a bit partial, but God placed this country on my heart and with no real explanation except that I really felt God wanted me to go, I hopped on a plane three years ago to Ethiopia and left all “logic” behind and was completely transformed. I often wonder where I would be now if I had let my fear and my to do lists rule my life over three years ago.
My to do lists are only my own “safety nets” that make me feel like I have more control over my life and my current circumstances, but in reality only God holds the future. With such an encouraging reminder, what is holding you back from experiencing all that life has to offer? Or, better put, from experiencing all that God created for you to be/experience/do/create?

Be bold.
Be courageous.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lauren permalink
    August 23, 2011 2:45 am

    I love your lists and you are an amazing planner! Seriously J, thanks for all you do and I’m so excited for our trip!

  2. Mary Erickson permalink
    August 23, 2011 10:06 am

    AMEN sistuh……….

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