July 26, 2011

Who Would've Known...

Who would've known that all these years later, 19 to be exact, that I would still have her as my best friend. That I would still love her. That I would still cherish our chats. That I would still learn so much from her. That she would continuously point me to the cross and help me walk deeper in grace. That we would share our children with one another. That she would be the only one I completely share it all with, openly, honestly. That she would still inspire me to think outside the box and ask myself the hard questions.

Tonight, as I put her son to bed with ours I wonder at the hand of GOD in our lives. To bless us with children that can share memories and moments together, always to be remembered, much like when we met just as girls really. How did God know I needed her in my life? Of course, He knew because she is a gift straight from Him. I am so thankful.

July 20, 2011

Basking in Books

One thing I missed in Africa was books. I am not a huge reader but definitely like to from time to time. I also like my boys to read. Generally they read for half an hour every night before bed just to form that habit of loving to read. In our home schooling I am ALL about the books. Of course we follow a curriculum but it is full of literature because by experiencing great books we learn life.
Today we visited the library. Now we have done that already since returning from Africa but this library was different. We live in a small village, called Penacook which is truly part of the capital city of New Hampshire, Concord. We have visited the Penacook library, all two rooms of it. Seriously. So today we decided to take advantage of our status as living in "part" of Concord and went to the larger library there. It was wonderful. I love letting my boys loose free to roam in a library. I find it pretty exciting. The children's section that is. I love watching my guys explore and find books about helicopters, knights, medeival weapons, etc. It screams for me to plant us there for many school days to come in the Fall.

Thankful for the library today.

July 11, 2011

A Day at the River...

We live near the river...

it's a beautiful place...

especially for hot summer days...

when you need to cool off...

or have some adventure...

so you can have a different perspective on things...

and see God's handiwork all around you.

July 8, 2011

The Statistics are Staggering...

Birth in Africa, Mozambique included, is a dangerous thing. I've always known this and been burdened wondering how and if I could ever make a difference. That is a question still to be answered.
I stumbled upon a documentary about Mozambican "midwives" or at least the closest thing to them. You can watch "Birth of a Surgeon" if you are interested. Caution: It could be considered graphic because of live birth situations. Unfortunately, they are not taught a more holistic approach but instead how to intervene in emergency situations. Don't get me wrong this also desperately needed because of the lack of adequately trained medical professionals and decent medical facilities and really the whole concept of medical care in the Mozambican culture.
Being somewhat informed I still found the statistics staggering.
1 in 9 babies in Mozambique will not live to see their first birthday.
1 in 22 women die giving birth.
Women in Mozambique have a 160% greater risk of dying during pregnancy or delivery than those in western countries.
250,000 women die every year from pregnancy and childbirth complications.
Sub-saharan Africa is the deadliest place on earth to give birth.
The population of Mozambique's capital city Maputo is over 1.2 million and there are only 7 obstetricians.
Most of the country does not have access to prenatal and obstetrical care.
It saddens me and sickens me. It goes so much deeper than just more doctors, more hospitals, more supplies. It goes to the root of women being not valued. It is the lack of care and knowledge given to women. 
To be honest I have been concerned for Mozambican friends of ours that are having babies. Two years ago our friend's wife labored for days and finally was given a c-section which I was amazed they were even doing in our local provincal hospital. I was also amazed that she and her baby survived-Praise the Lord! Soon after the birth her husband showed up at our door to give his announcement but also to ask for advice. The medical personnel had shared NOTHING with his wife about how to care for the baby or what to do in problem situations. Her family was not near her as she was living in a different area with her husband than where she came from so she had no one to ask or learn from. The father was worried about how he was ever going to afford to buy milk to feed his baby because the baby was not wanting to eat and he didn't know what to do. He was panicked knowing he did not have the means to fund buying tins of milk powder which to him meant his child was likely going to suffer and die. After calming him and asking some questions I came to discover that his wife's milk had simply not come in yet as it was still to early. No one shared with them that this is normal and not to worry. I encouraged him to tell his wife not to give up and continue and the baby will do well as she is created to feed the baby. I am happy to report that mother and baby both did very well and he is a growing, chubby little boy today. But I do wonder, what if the father had not come and received information. I believe he would have gone and bought a tin of milk and started the baby on it and then been left with a mother that could not offer nourishment to her baby and a baby that needed milk that he simply could not afford to provide. Heartbreaking!
Like I said earlier deep within me is a stirring to somehow, someway make a difference.
Pray with me as I seek the Lord.
I am very happy to report that this little one is about to beat the odds...
Graca Sara will be turning ONE in just a few weeks. To God be the Glory!

July 6, 2011

My Memorization Project This Summer...

             Deuteronomy 6:4-9     
“4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

All Kinds of Kisses...

It is 10:30 pm and my baby boy has just come to kiss me goodnight. It is not any ordinary, boring kiss but our special goodnight kiss ritual. Several months ago he and I designed our very own good night kiss. First it's the batting of eyelashes against one another (butterfly kisses), then noses rubbing (eskimo kisses), then cheek to cheeck, then rubbing chin against chin. Not sure where it really came from but everynight for months he has faithfully come looking for his special kiss. If I am honest there are nights that I have thought not right now or how about we skip just tonight but he is relentless and it takes only about 1.5 seconds for me to melt and remember that not long from now he will no longer come looking for my kisses. So, I will cherish this time and take each special one I can get.

I am not sure how it is possible that this boy is going to be turning 12 tomorrow. I can't fathom where the years have gone. What a treasure he is and I am so thankful that God chose me to be his mom. As long as he is giving out kisses I am determined I will make the time to take them.
Happy Birthday Baby Boy!