Saturday, January 25, 2014

raw and more raw

how are you?

ugh.... urgh.. pretty good? not too bad ? plain bad? alright? all wrong?...

this question often leaves me a little hmmm....dumbfounded. 

sure, i usually come up with a response. but is it true and transparent and is it revelatory?

and when you're asked by someone who cares. the 'how are you' with gently inquiring eyes. 

well, to quote a good movie:


besides the RARE moments of 'wow everything is doing amazing' 

and the moments of 'CRAP, everything is going wrong' 

most days are just too complex to be described in one word: good, ok, fine, splendid, mediocre..

this blogger mom of 3 did a great job at describing the constant polar opposite feelings, 

the simultaneous schizophrenic mania of contradictions.... 

"There were moments when my heart 
was so full I thought I might explode, 
and there were other moments when my 
senses were under such intense assault 
that I was CERTAIN I'd explode. I was 
both lonely and absolutely desperate to be alone.
I was saturated -- just BOMBARDED 
with touch and then the second I put down 
this baby I yearned to smell her sweet skin again. 
I was simultaneously bored out of 
my skull and completely 
overwhelmed with so much to do
Today was too much and not enough. 
It was loud and silent. It was brutal and beautiful. 
I was at my very best today and then, 
just a moment later, at my very worst
At 3:30 today I decided that we should adopt 
four more children, and then at 3:35 I decided 
that we should give up the kids we already have for adoption."

I'm glad to be a complex creature, i'm glad i can't describe my life, my day, 

my thoughts in one picture perfect word. 

deep calls to the deep

and i am thankful for words that do describe my life, my thoughts my days. 

Words to share, words to exchange, words to connect. 

in an attempt to simplify and reveal, here's the word of the day:


  1. 1.
    the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
    "nylon is excellent in wearability and resilience"
  2. 2.
    the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
    "the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions"

I don't know about 'quickly' but definitely 'recover'. 

and recover while doing justice to this complex being that i am. 

all at once, mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical.

i have a dream to develop an ability to be the object of a wrong, a blow, a disappointment, 

an injustice, a fatality, an incredibly stressful situation

and be able to assimilate it, stare at it in the face, not deny the emotions and feelings that ensue,

grieve when needed, be open about it ..

oh to live at peace with myself .

there are no standards i must live up to. 

divine perfection is not even a standard God puts on me!!

ugh! he very well knows what i am made of! 

it is rather a transformation and i am not able to perform it myself.

can i love myself today? can i truly accept myself ? 

can i be patient with myself, with exactly where i am, fully aware i am not where

i wish i were. and consciously and purposely 

letting go 

of that 


children that are the least happy and the worst mis-behaved often have 

a parent -or two- constantly correcting, admonishing, gripping,

criticizing, yelling at them.

I yell at myself. 
in my head. 
with no words.
NOL -not out loud
but i 

not quite the way to become the 'epanouie' person i want to be.

there isn't quite the word in english to describe epanouie. the first definition said 'flushed??

it's the concept of a flower that has bloomed, arrived at maturity.

i've come a long way from the teenage girl who couldn't talk abt her inner

struggles (actually would have N.E.V.E.R imagine showing a weak side of me..

i always subconsciously and in a totally destructive way thought that it was 

the best way to preserve and protect ones dignity.)

But i have yet to speak kindly to the areas of my life i find disappointing to say the least, 

i have yet to love ME when i want to casually but cruelly dismiss ME, 

i have yet to learn to bask in divine tenderness for no reason at all,

i have yet to 








honesty, resilience and self-love.

God help me.

Saturday, August 31, 2013


I was folding laundry in my in-laws laundry room, mind is drifting, random picture words and thoughts, eyes lost in the pipes on the unfinished ceiling. "dogs leave lemon scented pawprints on our hearts" I repeated it a few times still in a daze before it hit some neurons. Really??! where the heck did this thought come from? i couldn't help but crack a smile while looking around for a clue. finally on my left the 2 culprits. i must have read the label and the quote half subconsciously and my brain took it from there. 1 was an all purpose lemon scented cleaner, and the other a little ceramic heart that read; dogs leave pawprints on our hearts.
And that's just random reading. Now... how far PURPOSELY reading, watching, hearing can go.
On both ends of the spectrum...
Purposefully listening to gossip- accidental gossip is really rare, one most always allows it to happen.
Purposefully reading unedifying, empty, negative, lustful, VAIN content.
And then there's..
Purposely stopping to watch the sunset, stare into my eldest daughter's eyes, feel a warm breeze come and go and carry scents of wood, moss, moisture; reading spirit inspiration, soul edification, taking in divine direction, self-love and worth.
Dogs will most always leave mud pawprints. Better watch where i let my dog-mind wander.
My thoughts on this lovely, quiet saturday afternoon.
Lili is napping, Kezia is watching Dino Dan or something to that effect, Daddy has rocked Oceana to sleep. All is well.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Our 3rd wonder is here!

8/8/2013, @ 6:27 AM, 8.4 LBS, 20.5 IN

I am so thankful for family that cares and that have prayed
special for this time. My moms Isabelle and Janet and my sisters
Melody, Rachael and Susanna :)

Oceana is 3 weeks old, we're struggling a little bit with her
gaining her birth weight back, but it's slowly getting there.
It's an adjustment for everyone, but I think it's happening
pretty gracefully for the most part. The other part being nights
with little sleep... still not used to that one! Going to look up
the verse that declares He gives the righteous rest....

Sunday, August 04, 2013

and so time is fleeting

I am forseeing this blog  will be succinct. I don't even know where to start!
We landed in Baltimore end of May. Gdpa and gdma Tanguay had 2 bedrooms ready for us, super hospitable and sweet. some of the foods we missed in the fridge. 2 weeks later jediah already has 2 part-time jobs lined up. one is a home based business the other working as a sailing instructor at Gunpowder park. life is already going full -american- speed! the girls and I caught a stomach virus and were really ill for over a week. more sick than I remember ever being sick in my adult life. welcome back to the states! convention is approaching. my parents have already made it to france and on their way to Canada before finally hitting Baltimore. the girls are super excited! when I told kezia papili and mamilie were coming she said: NOW I CAN TELL MY HEART TO STOP MISSING THEM. I love that girl. my pregnancy is going well. we don't have health insurance so can't schedule to be seen yet. the Wednesday of convention  week we sign papers for an apartment in Middle River MD! newly renovated, brand new kitchen appliances, balcony with great view on the woods, access to a pool, playground, great location: 30 second walk to Target, Chick fil-a, bank of America etc. The whole story of how we got that particular appt is a miracle actually. Friends and family generously donated furniture and other items and now, a month later, we feel settled and at home. This transition, though rather smooth has been more stressful than we were willing to admit. We started off again with NOTHING, not a penny, 2 kids and 1 on the way, which pple usually do when they first get married. but it has put us on the right track from the beginning: TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART- ACNOWLEDGE HIM IN ALL YOUR WAYS, AND *HE* WILL MAKE YOUR PATH STRAIGHT.
Kitwe and Zambia in general is on our hearts -and we miss it!!- tho from a distance now and we are so thankful to be able to continue to support financially those we were already supporting. There are some amazing pple there. The Speedy family were able to move into our old house. The church is growing and the building projects are going forward! Jediah hopes to visit this Fall.
Some things Kezia has said lately. "What house will we be in when I have my birthday this year?" precious little traveler... and the other day: What would happen if we lived forever?? me: what do you think? her: i think we could visit ALLLLL the countries of the world! LOL
Liliana is a little sunshine. she's adding more words to her vocabulary list every day. she loves to say hi to our neighbors and makes friends easily. she'll be 2 next week! she is the pacifier of the family, always wanting to kiss booboos, say sorry you got hurt, here's some of my snack etc. Her and kezia are getting along better and better. it's now less than 2 weeks to my due date. I get very entertained by random strangers predictions on when i'll have this baby. I do admit my belly is huge! i still have lots of energy, have been painting the girls room, decorating, refinishing a dresser and a mirror and now we are tackling some painting in the living room as probably our last house project before baby gets here. actually I have a dream of making us a coffee table (last item we haven't been able to get) with recycled pallets (this style but with a white wash finish: we finally have state medical insurance .this baby should be born at st joe's hospital like her oldest 2 sisters. We are so grateful for all our friends who have been continuing to pray for us and encouraging us. we truly are surrounded by amazing people. and so this concludes the very non-exhaustive tale of our last and first 3 months. I imagine the next blog will be a baby announcement. :) soooooooooooooooo excited. (no name yet tho!!!)

Friday, May 31, 2013


I am laying in bed, semi-awake, it’s after 4 am, writing a blog in my head. It rarely happens, but lately, probably because we are days –almost hours- to leaving this place- I have been subconsciously dreading I would miss writing something important and then time would be gone. It’s not as  dramatic as that I could always post as ‘I remember once in kitwe’ or ‘ I just found old pictures of’! Nevertheless I am up, cup of rooibos steaming next to me, bathrobe and socks on –it’s Zambian Fall here!
Last week. Cutting up carrots, pouring coconut juice, deboning a piece of cooked chicken, throwing some rice on the stove and pouf! The power goes off. Just like you would imagine a house giving up the ghost. Unannounced, unwanted. With no bread whatsoever to make any kind of sandwiches we decide it’s time we try a little Zambian restaurant on the main road North. It’s part of a gas station, doesn’t look so inviting at first sight but we heard you can get Nshima with fish (FISH ya’ll!! Rare around here) for KR 12. Just abt $2.50. sounds like a great deal to me. That day had been grey and just as we headed out it started raining. In the middle of the dry season…. Very strange. But we loved every minute of it, driving in rain, stopping at gas station for something to eat, we felt back at home on a road trip. The fish was SOO delicious, it was a huge piece of Bream, fried, with tail, skin, bone and all, but sooo tasty and yummy. We even went back in for seconds but as I showed up a bunch of workers lined up in front of me and by the time it was my turn, a lonely fish head was looking up at me from the bowl. I passed. After eating – we started chatting with the guy sitting by the door, the manager of the place. The rain came up, and as much as we were enjoying it he explained why a rain in the middle of the dry season was actually dramatic for zambian farmers. By now, most maize has been harvested and is being dried, to be later milled in to flour, then cooked into Nshima, what EVERY Zambian human being eats everyday of their life, except for maybe 2-3 pple in the whole country who don’t care for it. I met one of them.
The unlikeliness of a rain would have taken most farmers by surprise and would have most likely spoiled that harvest, as the grains are layed out in the open to dry. Not to mention builders that have stacked piles of bags of ciment, and in one little shower, all of them are ruined. The harshness of the ‘outdoors’ living. He went on to describe his own field of maize, he said he grew corn mostly (corn as in the sweet yellow corn as we know it in America and Europe, 99% of Zambia grows maize a harder, light yellow in color, not sweet  type of corn) The conversation quickly became alarming when I asked him if he knew the percentage of corn farmed that is genetically modified. “All, I think.” he said. “Because once the grain is harvested it cannot be replanted” URgh. My stomach got a knot. I’m feeling dizzy imagining what it would be like to eat that grain as your staple food for a lifetime. The knot is not going away. We talked some more abt the impact it could have on him, his family. He seemed to be aware of it but unable to change anything. He added ‘regular grains don’t yield enough to make it worth the effort’.  Then onto to pesticides and insecticides, the story only got worse. “the maize is sprayed while growing, then again after harvested to keep away animals from store houses.” Organic sure is a foreign thought around here, according to my experience at least.

SO in 2 days we are locking up our house and going on to the next adventure. The immediate adventure will be to get the states! We have to take a taxi to the bus station at 5 am, jediah will drop our luggage downtown with Clive, then come back to get us the girls. Then a 6 hr drive to Lusaka.  Thank God for diapers and pull-ups, cause this bus ain’t stopping for peepees!  Then another taxi to a lodge. (a taxi ride is roughly $7-8) Spend the day and night there, leave super early morning for the airport; then first 8 hr flight to London; spend the night at small local hotel; leave next afternoon for second 8 hr flight; arrive in Bwi at 8 pm. Hallelujah. 

My friend Memory, if you remember her! Pray for her little munchkin Nalu, she has been at the hospital twice already in 2 weeks, she seems to have some sort of respiratory problem…. Not yet diagnosed. It could be an allergy to the milk powder supplement she is giving her, she is only 3 months old. We had been planning for a while now that I would teach her how to make a pumpkin pie (pumpkins are abundant here!) but that hasn’t yet happened; so last night after church we dropped off a pumpkin pie at the hospital and said our good byes. She is an amazing woman. Her husband doesn't permit her to come to church still but her words are so edifying always... I will miss her. and many others.

Also our dear Astridah (the 'bride') who was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. We are trying to get her to see another heart specialist. Her last hospital experience was a joke and a disaster. They injected her with pain killers 3 x a day, one of the doctors later admitted it was over-dosed............ She DIDN'T need pain killers. Made me sick. Then she was sent home with no meds to take or advice on what to do, in case she has a spell in the middle of the night -as she usually has them. Her condition is the cause for most heart attacks in young people........... Lord please lead her and her husband to the right specialist.... 

Saturday, May 18, 2013


The girls with Benson in front of the 'church' . This tent was imported from South Africa
and we have been meeting under its white and blue tarp for a couple months now!
Benson is the leader in charge while P. Adam is away. A great man!

The Bible College guys dorm being built (it was actually just recently finished)
under the skillful eye of Lili. This dorm has curently 5 guys that are the pillars of the church

Making n'shima one work night while Jediah and the guys were finishing up building benches. Threw some old wood boards together, a bunch of dried grass, a match 
and a fire was roaring. water (i don't even want to think
about where the water came from - but at least it got boiled) 

and some corn flour, makes this doughy staple
in Zambian and many of africa's cultures. 

KEZIA in her normal state of mind :) She's helping with cooking and helping with building the benches, you know, sitting on side of the bench to hold it while someone is nailing the other end of it, that kind of super helpful help. and later when it got dark and there were more benches to build, she held the flash light, steady like a champ.

What they call 'relish' is a type of sauce or side that you eat with N'shima. It usually consists of some type of vegetable leaf (our favorite is Sweet Potatoe Leaf and Bondwe) cooked down to a type of spinach casserole. This one is 'relish' at it's most basic state; sliced up cabbage, a few tomatoes and salt. 

This picture was taken abt an hour later, in the complete dark -which is why it's not focused- when we all gathered around the meal. Since we were to all eat out of one pot, I was lucky to help myself and the girls first before everyone converged! ;) Notice the second relish (made of eggs and tomatoes) was served in a plastic bag for a lack of pot. Jediah scored a 'plate' to dish out some food, a pot lid really. 

Lili and Kezia usually have individual room/play time once a day, and that particular day, Lili dumped her stuffed animal box on the bed and fell asleep on top of them. 

Kezia watching Bagel sleep on her bed.

We threw a surprise birthday party for one of the worship team members but that day -of course- not one person showed up!!! So we turned it into a karaoke family party and danced and sang and ate the cake ourselves :)

Pray for our precious Astridah (you might remember her from a  previous blog, she recently got married to Charles, our first wedding here in Kitwe) she was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. Here at the hospital with her favorite nurse!

None other than "Cheche", the youth leader and radio program DJ. Our Zambian  P Love :)

                 Charles (who recently got married) translating for Benson on the right. 

Jediah teaching Chileshe (Cheche as lili would say) the guitar. Notice the piano stand...

Memory's sweet baby girl, Nalu getting a bottle during a rap session. I am also posting this photo to remind myself  to not look over my glasses, i despise it and i think 
it makes anyone 'look' 10 years older!!!

Cooking with mama. love.

This is the hot guy that purposes to take me on a date every week. Yeah, he's cool. 


and so on this beautiful Zambian fall afternoon i made my first
ever batch of homemade dark chocolate!
it is out of this world delicious. and did i say it's also healthy. yup.
it took 5 mn to make and it has opened my  mind to whole new
world of possibilities...
i made mini chocolate chips out of the batch so we can have
chocolate chip cookies later today.
I mean, mission field or not, a girls' gotta keep winning her
man's heart after all!
mini choc chips. rather therapeutic.

source and recipe:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


every time that kick or turn or move or rub is felt in the womb i still wonder at the miracle, the oddness, the magic of it... 
who are you? you! little person growing inside of me and 
with every passing day i just can't wait to meet this new human being 
whose heart has been beating almost from conception, 
a little soft face and wiggly toes, your eyelashes and tiny fingernails, 
to hear that newborn cry that depends on me for sustenance and love and life... ahhhhhh little baby... you were a surprise to us 
but we sure are crazy about you now...

Thursday, May 02, 2013


This is my new sweet friend Memory! and her almost 3 month old baby girl Nalu. She heard abt our church on the radio while she was veeery pregnant and couldn't go anywhere and started coming to our meetings after having her baby. Her 2 sisters Jessica and Jedida and niece Lisa come with her as well. 
She is married to an ex-muslim who 'aparenty' join catholicism, but is definitely not born again. This makes their marriage a very complicated and growingly difficult situation. She visited last thursday and we spent the whole afternoon talking, eating, laughing, staring at her beautiful baby.. Memory is a truck driver!! She resumed work this week and to her discouragement was told that she couldn't work in the office as had originally been planned but would have to get behind the wheel as they are short of drivers... or quit her job pretty much. Some assignments take her hundreds of miles away from Kitwe and can potentially be overnight trips. She is very nervous about it, considering that her daughter is so little and doesn't take the bottle easily. She is going to try it out and make a decision down the road if things don't work out but right now her family really needs the money. 
The newest development with her husband, as of 2 weeks ago, is that he told her he didn't want her to attend church anymore. Last night, as he was on an overseas trip, she came to our mid-week service, somethig was heavy on her heart.. A friend of hers had offered to watch her baby on a certain day and brough along with her... nothing less than a demon. A woman -who had never met Memory before- but was claiming to be a prophet from God, started telling her that her strong advice to her is that she leaves her husband, start looking right away for a new place to move to, that her husband is the cause for bad spirits in the house, that he's a womanizer and she will get many diseases from him if she stays with him, but that if she leaves him, she will have peace and become wealthy......... and on and on she went. She finished her vomitting with a bottle of 'oil' that Memory is to mix with everything she eats, drink, her bath water and so on, to keep evil spirits away.... yup, TIA!
Memory told me she was at loss for words, but did manage to ask her for bible verses to back up her 'prophecy' to which she was told that she didn't have any and would have to get back to her on that..
I was so mad. Africa is loaded with these kind of people. They make me sick. [Oh, we -in america/europ-have our own types of disgustingly hyper-spiritual, demon influenced so called christians, they just are a little more subtle]. Their lips move with the devils fingers and they utter words such as, in the name of Jesus, it's God's will for you, bla, bla, BLA.
I told her my advice was to never let that lady in her house again. Jediah added under his breath, maybe she's after her husband! lol.... We talked abt the institution of marriage, how sacred that is, later Benson (who's leading the church in p adam's absence) told her that she was not alone in this difficult marriage and that we are her family. Please pray for her with me! It's obvious the devil is going at it from every possible angle. She had said to me earlier that every time someone from the church comes to her house she felt peace come over her house. We are talking abt possibly having a small weekly gathering for ladies around the bible at her house. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


our sweet lil rascal! LILIANA

- We JUST discovered that there is a dam -which really is a beautiful lake- in kitwe!! just as we were having a pity party over the lack of any body of water in this area... God is full of very human surprises.
I loved what i read by O. Chambers, but now i can't seem to find what day it was from?..

"To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises."


doesn't look like 'africa', does it?!

We had a nice picnic, nap, laughs, runs, goof offs...

Other missionary families joined in later on

My handsome husband - in his element!