A Rare American Christmas!

We were so blessed to spend Christmas this year in the States. We were able to visit supporters, churches, friends, and family at an incredibly fun time of the year. Plus, we were able to remember COLD! (Gina and Adalyn were less excited about it than I was.) Having spent the past two Christmas’ in Uganda and away from family (for the most part), we truly appreciate the joy of sitting at the same table, sharing the same meal, watching kids open presents, and simply being together.

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Cultural Diversity is a Blessing

One of the elements of missionary / ex-patriot life that I was not anticipating and has been an incredible blessing is the cultural diversity. I knew we would be surrounded by Ugandan and East African cultures, but I didn’t really think about all the many other cultures we get to experience living among other missionary and ex-pat workers here. The beautiful mix of people, language, and cultures makes serving here a special and unique experience. We get to celebrate different holidays with our multi-national friends who live here Continue reading

Never Say Never

I have gone from cooking dinners of Hamburger Helper and Rice-a-Roni meals to making homemade food from scratch. I have gone from a city girl who had only one plant stay alive under my care to working a garden full of broccoli, cauliflower, colored peppers, lettuce, strawberries, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, jalapeños, and sweet corn. I came from a girl who wasn’t sure if she wanted to have kids to God working on my heart to have one beautiful daughter whom I love more than I ever thought I could. I went from working full-time (and if I’m honest, judged stay-at-home moms a little – sorry!) to a missionary, wife, and mom. And while I enjoy my ministry to women, I know my main role is keep some kind of peace in our home in a completely different world. I went from living and enjoying conveniences and luxuries to understanding basic needs and limited comforts. Continue reading

Living Overseas… And Goodbyes…

Sometimes we forget about the challenges of living over seas. The every day life stuff is hard, but you get used to doing things differently to live well. We get excited when we grow something in our garden or find something new at the supermarket. We deal with hand washing all our dishes, cooking all our meals from scratch, crazy drivers and bad roads, always being stared at, and the constant battle against bugs. We even adjust to the heat of dry season and the amount of dirt that’s everywhere. Continue reading

Dad Fails!

Not to be outdone by Gina’s post “Mom-Fails”, dad also fails big time! Yeah, that’s right, I know what you’re thinking: “Not you, Leland. You can’t fail. You’re too awesome.” But sadly, I fail. Daily. I too often enter into the social media world while leaving my wife and child sitting at the table in mid-conversation. I frequently read articles on ESPN or Reuters instead of engaging with Adalyn. It’s not uncommon for me to be short and rude with Adalyn (and Gina) after a long day of ministry. I fail, and regularly have to ask forgiveness from my daughter and my wife. Continue reading

Mom-Fails But God Never Does

A friend of mine and a fellow mom of a 5-year old posts some pretty real and humorous mom-fails that she’s had. And it made me think about how we all have mom fails. Wether it’s when my daughter says “I hate…” and I realize “hate” sounds so much stronger coming out of her mouth than when I said it. Or when I was too busy doing other things that I kept telling her no when she asked me to play and then after she had gone to bed, I realized time with her was more important than marking things off my to-do list. Or when I see my daughter sitting by herself when other kids are playing but she doesn’t want to talk to me about it. I worry that I’m scarring her. I worry that I’ve failed her. Continue reading