Thursday, February 27, 2014


I can’t believe it’s been six weeks already—how time flies! Lots of things have happened; God has been chiseling at some hard placed in my heart, and I’ve continued this journey of seeking holiness and surrender in all areas of my life. I’ve had some victories, I’ve made some mistakes, and I’ve felt God working in me. I was interested by the choice of our final word, but as I thought about it, it totally makes sense.

It’s interesting to me that obedience to the Lord so often called for a measure of courage and faith. There are some things that we are asked to do that are, quite honestly, a little wild by this world’s standards. Also interesting to me, is that when you do take a deep breath, make the leap (or step!) of faith, you never crash and burn in spectacular failure. Yes, it might not go perfectly as you imagined it, but God blesses our slightest efforts towards obedience, and really, we have nothing to lose when we obey, but oh so much to gain. So why does it still take so much courage to step out in obedience to the Lord?

Speaking from my own personal experience, it takes a big measure of courage to admit that you have a food issue, and a big part of that issue is sin. It takes courage to decide that you aren’t going to live like that anymore. It takes courage to make the necessary changes to your eating and routine, and it takes courage to keep choosing self-denial over self-gratification—especially when you are surrounded by people who either don’t understand this journey you are on or will never need to go on a similar one.

Living in victory and obedience is a constant exercise in courage—being brave enough to make the changes to our routines and hearts that will result in better health and closeness to God. May I not forget what I have learned, and keep praising the Lord always for this body that He has given me that is a constant reminder to me that I need to fill myself with Him and His goodness, not the temporary pleasures of sugar and carbs.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid...for the Lord you God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Well, that was week 7!

Very little to report this week; we did school, I had several 'growth' opportunities, and it rain a lot. As in, A LOT. The work on the main sitting room was really held up by all that water. Here is what it looks like today:

I guess the one other thing of interest is that I got to try out the mango pitter I got for Christmas. If you've never tried to deal with a mango, then you won't know how wonderful these things are!

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I started teaching history to my middle school students yesterday, and as we started with creation we discussed what being made in God’s image means. Odd how things in my life keep underscoring what God is trying to teach me through this study… The thing that always blows my mind when I think about being in God’s image is the fact that I have free will—the ability to choose whatever I want in my life. God often allows the consequences of my actions to fall on me so I can learn, but He won’t ‘hover’ over me and send a divine e-mail or light up the skies when I’m about to do something that is not in my best interest.

Isn’t it ironic that while we all clamor about making our OWN choices and running our OWN lives thank-you-very-much, we tend to choose what is not best for us? Left to my own devices, my choices usually add up to a very little good and a lot of pain. I need to start evaluating my choices a bit better and not just asking, “What do I want to do?” but “Is what I want to do beneficial to me?”

Who hasn’t tried to drown their sorrows in chocolate or chips? Who hasn’t tried to cheer themselves up with Facebook time, a book, or huddling in front of the TV? Goodness—I even use knitting time to cope with stress! While these things are not evil in and of themselves, are they really benefiting me when I turn to them instead of God? I still tend to reach for my knitting when I want to come unglued, but I’m learning to take those quiet moments of forming the stitches to pray for the situation and my raging feelings instead of stewing over it. When I hear the cupboards screaming my name I’m learning to stop and ask myself, “Why? Why do I have this urge to eat?” Pretty crazy, isn’t it, to think that we can fix a broken and hungry heart with food for the stomach!

Imperfect progress, learning to make the choices that are beneficial instead of what I think I want. Lord, help me to desire Your ways above my own, and help me to rest in the assurance that Your ways are best. May I learn to use my free will for Your glory and to become the person You want me to be.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A low key sort of Valentine's Day

Not much to report this week other than that the truck made it safely up from the Copper Belt with our container supplies, and the boxes are being sorted and delivered today. What a nice Valentine’s Day present! I already got a few boxes that I packed this summer; there were some nice surprises in there! It’s amazing how much I didn’t remember packing…

Monday and Tuesday were half-term, so the usual events took place, and I got caught up on marking. Very exciting…if you’re me! We have been having really rainy, cool weather lately, so it was a pleasant bonus to have brilliant sunshine for the two days of half-term. I’m always amazed at how quickly the temperature out here changes based on the cloud cover—I’m so used to air masses that stay until a cold or warm front pushes them aside! I’ve been putting my handknit sock collection to good use as my cement floors are quite cold in the evenings, and I’ll need to pull out another quilt for my bed before too long. Huzzah for ‘winter!’

I realized today that I forgot to put up a picture of the finished porch on the back of the hall; I use it every Thursday as a recorder practicing place, and it’s come in handy for lots of other reason too. When it rained during our end of term program in December, all the kids were able to line up nice and dry before the show.

Parting shot: Here are some kids getting ready to ‘take the plunge’ into the freezing water of the dam during the early morning swim. Better them than me!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I would class myself as someone who loves truth and actively seeks it out. I hate it when people lie to me, and I try hard to not lie myself either actively or inadvertently. I dislike being fooled, and I don't like wading through grey areas. That being said, I have realized in the last few months that there is one person whose lies I will more often than not swallow, tolerate, and act on.

Yeah. Satan. The Father of Lies himself. What am I thinking? Maybe that’s the problem…I’m spend too much of my life not thinking and just reacting.

As I got ready for my singing assembly this week, I thought I’d pick songs that had to do with love seeing as how Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. I had started this blog post, but wasn’t really sure where I was going with it. Then, as I scrolled through my power points of songs, these words leapt off the screen at me:

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

Instead of Satan’s lies, this is the truth I want to live in. That Christ is the reason that I can have the courage to face another day. I can absolutely trust my Rock to hold no matter what the storm. Christ is my all in all, not chocolate, not chips, and not another person. He died, was buried, and rose again so that I would never have to be in bondage to sin for another second. I was bought at a terrible price, and this life is too short to waste it turning to lies and empty comfort instead of my Savior.

The new truth for me is that I can be thankful for this less than perfect body of mine. God knows that as a self-sufficient “I can fix it” sort of gal, I needed something that would drive me to Him. Something that would make my soul cry out for His. Something that would help me to remember to crave Him and His fullness—because He has nothing better to give me than Himself. As I continue on this journey, my mind is being renewed to remember that I can only be truly satisfied with Him—the one who paid for my soul with His own blood so that I would never have to go hungry again.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Finishing Up and Hall Pictures

Whew—it’s been a busy week! Our half-term holiday from school is Monday and Tuesday of next week, and I’m trying to get to a good stopping place in all my classes. Because this is a boarding school, the majority of the kids are here, and we have special traditions and activities for them. While the break from classes is nice, I often am quite busy marking and catching up over half-term. I can't believe we're halfway through the term already!

I realized the other day that I never posted pictures of the finished hall, so here are a few!

Here is the new front of the hall complete with a higher and wider stage, and all the stuff from the attic that we don't have anywhere else to put at the moment. There is projector mounted on the ceiling that makes it a lot easier to do assemblies, and the lighting is much nicer.

From the front of the hall, here is the view down to the back where our new storage rooms are. I love the garage doors and how much nicer it looks back there with no chair racks and ping-pong table cluttering things up!

Here is the music side--still some things to get rid of and organize, but after 4 hours of sorting and cleaning, SO MUCH more usable that it ever has been before!

Here are some new containers that will be part of our new storage complex by my house. Now we just need to get some more cement up here...

Here is a picture from the Main Sitting Room that shows why we are renovating and fixing the foundation--several cracks like this one just can't be fixed.

That's what's going on at Sakeji right now--have a blessed week!

Thursday, February 6, 2014


When I look back on my eating, dieting, and denial over the last few years, one of the last words that I would use to describe that process would be peace. I tried to take fierce control of this rebellious body of mine by raw willpower, got some results, but was so shattered by the experience that I collapsed into doing nothing and called it “peace.” I shoved my issues under a blanket of excuses and called it peace. I decided I didn’t care anymore and called that “peace.” However, the truth was always there. I was NOT at peace. I didn’t like myself, hated that I felt so powerless in this struggle, and told myself that this was just a cross I was chosen to bear. Yeah, right!

Last summer when I first read Made to Crave and started to have some breakthroughs, I realized some things. First of all, what I was doing was not honoring to God, and it sure wasn’t giving me peace with my body! Secondly, that one of the most miserable points in my life was when I was the smallest I had ever been, so just loosing weight couldn't be the goal here. Thirdly, that I had fallen hook, line, and sinker for the lie that God’s ways (especially in regards to food) were restrictive and unpleasant. That if I followed Him in this, I would regret it.

Imagine my surprise when I began to take those first baby steps of obedience, and found out that my life did not spiral down into a pool of misery. Imagine how shocked I was to realize that obedience tastes far sweeter than that candy I was thinking of scarfing just because it was there and I was bored. That giving up some earthly things had lead me to fill my spiritual hunger. That while I still wasn’t happy with the outside of my body, I was learning that the numbers on the scale could never define the important things—my obedience to and reliance on the Lord.

So, am I never tempted anymore? Goodness no! Chocolate is still a lovely treat, and some days I find myself ready to gnaw on the cupboards just to take the edge off things. Old habits are hard to break—goodness knows I spent enough years forming them! However, now I have something so much better than my own will power and regret to drive me. I have the taste of peace in my mouth, and it is not something that I’m willing to do without. Excelsior!