Soulful Sojourning

The Gifts I Never Wanted

A delicate mirrored box sits in my hutch surrounded by pretty heirlooms and souvenirs.  In a way, it’s a souvenir of some of my darkest moments, a memory kept in honor of the friendship and the beauty that comes from pain. Hopefully it will be an heirloom for my children of their mother’s honest raggedy faith made beautiful by time and tears.

         A wise woman, full of dignity and grace, gave it to me during a difficult season, wrapped up with a lovely bit of stationary.  “This is for your letters to God,” she’d written. “No one needs to know what you write, but you can release your words into his hands,” the card stated elegantly.   Right.  A mailbox to God, I scoffed! Me, pouring my broken heart into a little wooden box wouldn’t help what was ailing me.  I placed the lovely little box on my dresser and went about stewing in my self-pity.
         The first time I placed a letter in the box, I felt foolish.  Months would go by and I’d dust it off from time to time, wondering what people would think of my silliness.   It became my last resort, my prayer box.  If it went on the card and into the box, it was my dearest, most private prayer.  Some prayers were answered, some weren’t, but all were heard.
         Today, I wonder how a woman can survive without a mail-box to God tucked into their dining room. It’s moved with me several times.  Life hasn’t gotten easier or safer but that box has held my heart when it’s too heavy to bear alone.  It’s a witness to the faithfulness of God in my weakness.
         There are gifts that hurt to unwrap. A locket to honor a baby held for mere moments, a book for broken dreams, a stuffed animal that’s never been cuddled. Now, I’m the woman wrapping up a box with a bit of stationary, passing on the wisdom poured into me. These are the gifts that punch you in the soul and hardly do justice to the moments they represent.  Yet when time dulls the pain, these remain a testament to the loss and the loved ones who didn’t let me walk alone.  It reminds me of the women who’ve invested in my heartache, who spoke up, spoke out, and didn’t leave me alone. They didn’t tell me how to feel.  Through their prayers, we mined the pain and shed the extra layers that were strangling my soul.  It’s a witness to loveliness found in the hardest places. It’s a legacy of prayer and hope.
By God’s grace,
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The child of missionary parents, writing became a natural was to process my adventures across the world.

Ndjerareou means 'he who builds the road in Ngambai, Nate's tribal language spoken in Chad, Africa.

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  • Happy Birthday Isaac! Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate our boy! Nerf obstacle training course & operation piñata rescue! It’s a joy to see them all enjoy each other. Sophia nailed the cake and was a fantastic Nerf Drill Sergeant! (Nice to know they remember all the effort your pour into home made birthdays and return the love—her enthusiasm is best gift she could give her brother—he wears sister out playing but I’m so addicted to their laughter! My heart is full!) #happybirthdayisaac #nerfparty #homemadefun #marchbirthdaymadness #marchbabies #nerfornothing #gratefulforcousins #gratefulforfriends
  • “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” -Coco Chanel
Thank you Auntie Kirsten for helping me teach “How to be fabulous lessons” to Sophia for her birthday. We invested in self-care and the gift of friendship. It was precious time of laughter & luxuriating!  #howtobefabulous #brunch #spaday #shopping #macaroons #fortworth #girlsday #giggles #smartgirlspracticeselfcare #stickwithmesweets #grateful
  • Spring Break 2019 in the books! Thank you Arlington for a restful staycation. @freeplayarcade @urbanalchemybar @babeschickendinner @utarlington We explored our local UTA planetarium, the new Central library, perfected our pinball game at Free Play and loved spending family time at our favorite local food spots. Now back to real life! #groan #ndjerareoujourney #springbreak2019 #arlingtontx #staycation #texas #familiesthatplaytogetherstaytogether #notallwhowanderarelost #gettinglostinourowncity #gettinglostinourbackyard #readwithme
  • Happy Birthday Sophia! Joy in its purest essence is watching your child take flight and grow in the Lord. Very thankful for the lovely, feisty, tender, persistent person you’re becoming. Fly baby, fly! #ndjerareoujourney
  • Kindergarten Shenanigans! Happy heart day from our family to yours! Now to burn off all that sugar!!
  • We have a basketball player! They’re so little. Cutest game I’ve ever seen! He has fantastic coaches! (I thought the game was over after the 2nd quarter!)
  • “Praised be my Lord, for our sister water.”- St. Francis of Assisi,
Canticle of the Sun.  #itssocold #sunshineandgiggles #toesinthewater #decemberinTexas #joy #bliss #laughter #water #play
  • All he wants for Christmas is a new tooth! (Don’t believe it!!) Merry Christmas with smiles and love! #toothfairy&santainoneday!