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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My Insta-happenings

  • “Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn--that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness--that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.” -Jane Austen, Persuasion.
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#mainstayfarms #fall #takeawalkwithme #thoughtfulmoments #poetryinplay #wanderings #nofilterneeded #nothinglikefall #changeofseasons
  • “Being a daddy’s girl is like having permanent armor for the rest of your life.” – Marinela Reka
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This is the smile my father only shows a few people. It’s his silly, happy, smile, the one I see when he’s with his family (they make the same grin!) Honestly, my heart skipped a beat when I saw I’d caught it on camera. He’s a tender hearted man but making him laugh is like wings on my soul!  #daddiesgirl #loveyou #makingmemories #comeforawalk #letsgooutside #sunshineandlaughter #letsplay #grateful
  • Shenanigans with Nana & Papa! A little sunshine goes a long way. Our family was thankful for a way to play together while daddy was on a trip. We miss him terribly but the sheep races, zip line, swings, apple canon epic slides,  pedal go carts, hay rack rides and mazes helped. Thank you Nana & Papa for all the memories! .
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#mainstayfarms #pumpkinpatch #dst #letsplay #theyllsleeptonight #fall #texas #comeplaywithme #memories #farm
  • We voted! (Well one of us did!)The other learned a valuable lesson about civics and you’re never too old for a sticker. Last day for early voting!
. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 #vote
  • Wakanda Forever! Happy Halloween from the Ndjerareou’s #happyhalloween #blackpanther #shuri #allthecandy
  • “Your fears are real. You will fail. The critics will continue to earn their employment. For me, the joy far outweighs the risk of failure." -
@jonforeman
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Night of inspiration, celebrating all the risks creatives take for the simple act of touching another’s heart in sound, sight and word. Thankful I’ve found my tribe, one that pours all it has into the world and each other. Thankful for a community that values the power of expression and it’s ability to lift us out of heavy times, give voice to causes worth fighting or the joyful songs we sing to celebrate all that is good, human and beautiful in this world. .
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#arthousedallas #mytribe #jonforeman #arthouse #switchfoot #findyourvoice #tellyourstory #creativityforthecommongood #celebrate #joy #grateful
  • “Thou comest, Autumn, heralded by the rain, 
With banners, by great gales incessant fanned, 
Brighter than brightest silks of Samarcand, 
And stately oxen harnessed to thy wain! 
Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne, 
Upon thy bridge of gold; thy royal hand 
Outstretched with benedictions o'er the land, 
Blessing the farms through all thy vast domain! 
Thy shield is the red harvest moon, suspended 
So long beneath the heaven's o'er-hanging eaves; 
Thy steps are by the farmer's prayers attended; 
Like flames upon an altar shine the sheaves; 
And, following thee, in thy ovation splendid, 
Thine almoner, the wind, scatters the golden leaves!”
Autumn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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#longfellow #poetry #fall #pumpkin #mood #reflection #changeofseasons #enjoyingthewordsofanother
  • "I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable."
-Anthony Bourdain
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There’s a chill in the air here, it’s made me nostalgic. Once a year a try I to recreate the taste of my first soup de l'oignon. A French onion soup served in a little Christmas market at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. It’s been nine years but this weekend @thepioneerwoman recipe delivered all the nuance and flavor of that first, delicate memory. Maybe I’ve finally gotten wise enough to appreciate the importance of technique and time. Caramelizing the onions on the stove for 20 minutes, then in the oven for an hour, the flavors melt in your mouth. Invest in the Guyere, she said, and she was right. We found Paris, in our kitchen and a little bit of the glow of wandering, floated into our everyday. Here’s to discovery around the world and here at home. .
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#tastetheworld #surlatabletogether #paris #adventuresinthekitchen #thetasteofmemories #memories #warmfoodcoldday #greatfoodgreatcompany #takethetimetocreate #soupdeloignon #memoriesinthemaking #comeawaywithme #deliveradventureonerecipeatatime #thetasteofparis