oh to start again. [Africa]

can I be honest?  Ok, I think i’ve established that this is a place for honestly and realness.  I love Africa, you know that right?  God put it on my heart randomly one day through our desire to adopt from there and since then He’s given more way more opportunities than I deserve to go there.  to serve and love.  in the past 2+ years, I have fallen in love with Africa.  specifically with the places I’ve been- Ethiopia, Rwanda + Uganda.  In each of those countries I have friendships and relationships that I hold very dear.  In each country we have kids who call us “mom and dad” or “mama and papa” or “mum”.  I’ve been home from my last trip for almost 3 months.  3 months and I have yet to tell you one story.  or post any pictures that I took with my “real camera”.  and I have a confession about that.

I’ve been mad at Africa.  can I say that out loud?  well, I said it to my dear sister Wendy 2 weeks ago and just saying that out loud to her brought me freedom.  and I’m all about freedom.  so I’ve been mad.  I’ve been praying and asking God to change my heart.  [instead of asking Him to send me to a new continent where I can start over + do things the right way…].  Ya know that book, When Helping Hurts?  it’s true.  helping does hurt sometimes and we have learned so much the past few years.  we know we haven’t done everything right, and we still have a lot to learn.  I want Africa to not be all about me.  I want it to be about God.  and it being NOT about me, has taken away the fantasy of it.  I used to dream almost every day of being back in Africa.  of living there.  of just visiting.  and Lord willing, we will be back and Africa will continue to be the place God sends us.

but I”m not there right now.  instead I’ve been trying to avoid it.  to “put off” all the issues that I need to deal with.  in my own heart and in specific situations.  there has been a lot of stuff go down in one of my most beloved places on earth.  the enemy is attacking, and it’s getting dark.  it’s hard.  the enemy wants to sink his teeth into these precious souls.  but today!  oh today!  I am claiming VICTORY.  Jesus has already won + He will protect those souls.  He loves them more than I EVER could.  and He’s got this!

two nights ago God started to soften my heart.  I don’t know what it was.  I was looking at my pictures from my time in Uganda with our Noonday artisans [that you will see very soon!] and maybe it was them?  maybe it was the hope and joy in their faces.  maybe it was in some of their smile-less faces.  thinking about their lives, and how hard their road has been.  but knowing that because they know CHRIST- they have hope.  they know that God will not forsake them, or ever leave them.  and that gives me hope.  excitement to think about how much further they will have come in their walk with the Lord the next time I get to visit.  and the next.  and the next.

me

africa gets into your soul.  you can’t help but want to give your life to serve it’s people.  to give your time, your money, your resources, your energy, yourself.  I have given myself to those people on the other side of the world that are like family to me.  I can be mad at situations, I can be hurt, I can be frustrated with the way my “western” mind and heart wants to do things all I want, but at the end of the day, I can’t abandon them.  I can pray more, I can seek Him, I can be patient and WAIT for Him to tell us what to do next.  Open hands.  open hands.

You are going to be hearing a lot more about my family in Africa.  and I’m not going to apologize for that.  I’m finally getting to a place where I want to talk about it, I want to dive into the hurt + pain again, and writing and editing pictures is how I get there.  it’s my therapy.  I want to use my voice and use this space to TELL YOU about the amazing ways that YOU can get involved.  no one is paying me to do that.  it’s my heart.  and I want you to join me.  even if it’s going to be hard— it’s going to be worth it.

Wherever God leads, is where I want to be.

ps- i’m not sure why I put that picture in this post.  maybe because I don’t like my posts without pictures [the photog in me] but I think mainly it struck me as a reminder…this was me IN Africa this June.  In Uganda actually at dinner with our friends at Sole Hope [shout out!] and I love the joy and hope I see in my eyes.  I love it there.  It feels like home.  and maybe I just needed that reminder today.  thanks for obliging me.  #nottryingtobenarcasistic

Hey, I'm Wynne!

Hi, friend! First, I truly am so giddy that you are here. I want you to know I 100% believe in you and all the ways you are growing towards living a more intentional life. I can’t wait to get to know you and your story, and I genuinely hope you are encouraged from our time together here.

A little about me, I’m a type 7 on the enneagram, a total extrovert + people lover, entrepreneur, connector, storyteller, people gatherer, and passionate wife, mama + friend. I feel most alive when I’m exploring new places and surrounded by people I love. Give me a day in the outdoors disconnected from wifi, and I am a happy girl. I run on oat milk lattes, Jesus, gratitude journaling and kitchen dance parties with my three kids.
Welcome, come on in!

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  1. Kimberly Ciola says:

    Thank you for this post. I have been having the very same feelings about my relationship with Haiti. It is almost word for word how I have been feeling about dealing with some really tough issues there and the organization I am involved with. I love the country more than anything else, but it gets hard and when you are involved with an organization that is creating sustainable development for rural areas and your tough decisions are based on salaries and people’s lives, it gets even harder. Thank you for being honest and for making me feel like I am not alone in all my emotions I have for the country I love.

    • Wynne says:

      Kimberly, thank you for your words. like I told Valerie, i’m so glad we aren’t in this together. not that it’s easy or I want others to be in this same place – but god has us here. when we get involved, it’s not always pretty. ministry and missions and life is messy! but god invites us into that mess + redeems and heals! hang in there!

  2. valerie says:

    Wynne, I really really really needed to read this post today [and now I’m crying at work 🙂 ]. Just this morning I told God that I just want to go back to my plain old life. I just want to do PTA and football and ballet and just have a normal life and not think about Africa anymore – because it’s too hard. Especially when you have this huge passion for Africa, and you don’t have the foggiest idea what you’re supposed to DO with it, ya know? Even if I had some vague idea of a purpose, a direction, it would be so much easier, but I don’t.

    And yet even so, you’re right – Africa does get into your soul, and you (I) can’t just give up. So I guess I’ll go back to waiting, too. And pray some more. And wait some more. “Even if it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be worth it.” I really hope you’re right. Thanks for being willing to share your heart. I was really encouraged by your words. 🙂

    • Wynne says:

      valerie, wow thank you for your words! I know totally how you feel. i feel that way sometimes too. that’s why i say my life was “gloriously ruined”. I can’t go back, i don’t want to go back, but some days it seems like it would be so much easier! but alas, god has us where he has us for a reason and we have to hold onto that! and keep praying/dreaming/believing! thanks for sharing, I’m glad I’m not alone 😉

  3. sarah says:

    Hi Wynne, I’ve been following your blog this summer after Lauren Casper linked to you in one of her posts. (I always feel like I should introduce myself the first time commenting on someone’s blog. Kinda weird, I know.) Anyway, the Lord has really stirred up my heart for the nations in the last few months, and I am looking forward to seeing where He will lead. I even went out and got my passport as soon as I felt stirred! Well, its been difficult to see so many bloggers sharing their hearts, their hurts, and their joys when it comes to Africa & Haiti, and then me not being able to ‘go and do’. My husband doesn’t feel called to other nations. He tends to change the subject whenever I talk about it. So that has been difficult. But maybe God is just using stories like yours and Lauren’s to stir up something in me. I don’t know. Anyway, all that to say, I look forward to hearing more about your time in Africa. Have a blessed weekend!

    • Wynne says:

      sarah! thank you so much for your comment! thanks for introducing yourself 😉 I love when people do that! I want to know who YOU are and so thank you! that is amazing that you got your passport when you felt the lord stirring. you know he will use that and he will use YOU when you let him in like that. i know it’s hard to wait for gods timing for you do do what you really feel like he’s put on your heart – but the waiting is good. and the following your husbands lead is good too. thanks for stoppin by 😉 can’t wait to follow your journey!

  4. jenny says:

    yes and yes. i have the same feelings and prayers and am wrestling with all of it too. i had THE hardest time writing about our recent trip. i wanted to put it away {the photos and the stories} until someday when i could unpack it and be okay with all of it – the good and the bad and the hard. so much darkness and pain but so much joy too. i know exactly where you’re at. i’m there too. thanks for your vulnerability. 🙂

    • Wynne says:

      jenny, wow thanks for your words. i know what you mean about putting it away to one day “unpack” it and be okay with all of it. i’ll be praying for you as you too are working through these feelings!

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