What do I do?  My husband is gone.  My dogs are gone!  It’s just me and three crazy goats!  What do I do?  I swallowed hard, and thought it through.  Then, I was resolved what I would do.

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With guidance from the Gardener, I am learning that I must make judicious decisions about what goes in my lovely basket.  This is essential to my physical and emotional wellbeing.  My health is just too fragile right now, and is easily over taxed . . . The Gardener is generous with the beauty and variety of the flowers that fill my glass basket — my life.  I just need to be wise and not pick them all at once.

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As the sun made its way up, I looked to the brightening Kangari hills, and my mind’s eye traveled further to the Eastern Province and the red clay streets of Kono.  I could see where we had walked 12 years ago.  I thought about the children we had met who would now be adults.  And I could see three red shirts.

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As my knee is deeply aching, I begin to move out of bed and I’m reminded that not just Saturdays but all of my days are going to be very different from what Stephen and I had planned and hoped.  But I’m also reminded that in Christ, they can still be glorious. 

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She wasn’t there for several weeks.  I was sure I’d be able to pick her out from the growing group.  Each week I looked and each time I was disappointed to not see her again.  A couple of times I had caught a glimpse of her while I was in town at the market; she returning the distant gaze before shyly turning away …

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Indecision remains a terrible lingering fog for me.  It paralyzes me at times as I try to make even the simplest choices . . .  I’m confused.  I’m looking at the clothes but not really; I’m looking somewhere else.

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On the dawning of that glorious new day, when Jesus calls me from the far shores of heaven, I can imagine him saying, “Laura, child, have ye any meat?  What have you done for me?  Are you coming to shore empty handed?”

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When the Lord recovered me from the Dengue fever and cerebral malaria, he gave me the firm assurance that he still had work for me to do.  Now I can look back on that assurance with the confidence that, although I may never be much better than I am now, his work is still my vision and he’ll give me the daily strength to fulfill my duty of giving the gospel visually to one of the least literate countries in the world.  I marvel every time I think of it.

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At times I’ve felt forgotten, as though I couldn’t find him at all and with the Psalmist I cry out —  
How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? … how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? (Psalm 13:1-2)
My great and bitter enemy? Pain.  Unrelenting, unforgiving, head-to-toe PAIN.

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Ah, New Year, a time of reflection and reminiscing; a time to look ahead.  It’s also a time when I really enjoy reviewing old journal entries.  Sometimes I go way back as I did this morning and I had the surprise of coming across a poem I wrote in 1991.

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