Life Recently

Let’s be honest…my March Madness bracket is a complete mess. That being said, life continues to go on here. Time seems to go by fast and it still seems strange to me that my new normal is this. I have done a bit of exploring and have yet to get good pictures of what Cotonou looks like. Sorry about that. We did go to the fabric market and I did buy  fabric. There are thousands of choices and it is a bit overwhelming to just choose a few. I think I am going to have a skirt made. If I have leftover fabric I want a shirt as well. I may come home with a whole new wardrobe.

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This is the fabric I purchased.

I also went to ouidah. We walked the slave road here. Thousands of people were forced from their homes and into slavery. It was a sad reminder of the past and what is still going on in the world today. There is an old fort here that has been turned into a museum. We had a guide that walked us through the pictures and artifacts.  We then went on the 2k walk.  The walk ended at the gate of no return on the beach. It was an emotional experience, but one that I am glad I had.

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I am continually reminded of how small my wold was and, to be honest, still is. Walking through the city earlier this week I couldn’t help think that life is difficult. I often times shy away from the difficult things so that I am comfortable. My highest goal as a Christian should never be comfort, but sometimes I find myself clinging to it. I am called to so much more then that and I am still learning what that looks like in my life.

I am making friends here and learning a lot. Kathrin came to Benin with me and I couldn’t be more thankful for her. I have learned here how important it is for me to have a sounding board. As most of my close friends know I am a verbal processor. Thank you to all the people at home who have listened to me ramble and work through things because you are very valuable. I am slowly finding a small group of people I can process with, which makes all the difference.

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Kathrin and I standing in front of the Africa Mercy.

Please continue to pray that I make time for the important things. Pray that I would find a routine here, but that I would also stretch myself by doing things that are new and hard. Thank you for your continued pray and support. Miss you all!!

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Proverbs 16:9

I thought I had everything planned out for my life. I thought I knew what it would look like in the next few years. God must have been chuckling to himself the whole time I was planning.

I am currently sitting on a ship on the west coast of Africa and to be honest most of the time I have no idea how I got here. It’s so funny looking back over 2016 and seeing how things have changed sooooooo much. The Lord has been showing me how much I hold on to things, people, and plans. He keeps telling me that if I just loosen my grip just a bit he will show me a better way. Don’t get me wrong somedays I feel like I’m playing tug-a-war with him. I never seem to win and it always seem to be for my benefit. By the grace of God his plan prevailed and I am so thankful for that.

I am still adjusting to life here. I am trying to give myself lots of time and grace. I know that this year will be challenging and there are things in the future that still scare me and I continue to lay them at the cross, trying to loosen my grip a little more each time I do. I tell myself, “Remember, don’t forget all the things the Lord has done.”

Okay I am done with my rambling. I know that a lot of you want to hear how life on ship is so I will update you on that. I don’t have to cook ,which is GREAT! The food onboard is good. I now have to take two minute showers which is easier to adapt to then I would have thought. I am in a small cabin on board which I will happily show you.

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This is part of my room!

It was really easy to unpack as I don’t have much with me. I do plan on getting a couple skirts and pants made while here though and I will defiantly do a separate blog post when I have them. I haven’t gone exploring yet, but plan to in the near future. My first day of training was today for my job and I think I will like it. Continued prayer please that my confidence would grow as I get to know my job. I am making friends and got to attend a lovely bible journaling group, which I will be attending again. There were 10 different countries represented at this small group.

 

Here is to a year of changing, growing, and stretching. Please pray that I would be open to learn and grow. That I would call on the Lord to be the one to fill me and give me value. That I would remember all he continues to do in my life. Love you all and miss you lots.

Short Update.

We arrived last night. I dropped my bags and climbed into bed. I lay in bed wondering how in the world I got here. I am tired and overwhelmed. A lovely friend gave me the Quote:

Don’t dig up in doubt what you have planted in faith.

-Elizabeth Elliot

So that is what I am holding on to. There are a lot of changes and I am currently processing a lot of feelings. I want to be honest here. I am excited to be here, but another part of me is also wondering what I got myself into. So my request of you is that you continue to pray. Pray that I will find my place here. That I would do a good job where I work.That I would fall more in love with Jesus each day.

UPDATE to my update:

I have unpacked and feel a bit better!!