Sunday, August 9, 2015

I Could Write a Book, Part 2

One of the greatest lessons I have learned overseas is that activity does not equate godliness, nor is "success" an automatic outcome of busyness.

It's been a tough lesson to learn and I am still "revising" - constantly reviewing - it, as they say here.

Over and over, Jesus takes me back to verses like John 15:5, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." 

Or to Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Or Jeremiah 17:7-8: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lordwhose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream."

These verses don't explicitly speak of rest, but they do emphasize abiding in Christ and drawing on His strength for lasting fruit and fulfillment of His purposes. For me, this means periodically taking time away for rest and refreshment.

In my last post I wrote about traveling to western Uganda for the funeral of one of our dear secondary teachers. The following weekend, God blessed me with a few days away with sisters in Christ on the opposite side of the country, in the Mbale area. This get-away had already been in the works and the timing could't have been better.

Sipi Falls, eastern Uganda.

Like western Uganda, the eastern region is also mountainous, with cooler temps, and lots of trees. We stayed near Sipi Falls (pronounced "sippy"), a series of three beautiful waterfalls. We did a lot of resting - reading, talking, eating, laughing listening to music, and coloring. Yes, I admit, I love coloring, and recently re-discovered adult coloring pages of flowers or encouraging sayings or geometric patterns. My friend April and I call it our "coloring therapy." :)

I took many, many photos of the stunning foliage and was happy to find among other fine flora, the familiar dahlias - one of my favorite flowers from home.

Isn't our God creative?

We stayed in cute little bandas...

...ate scrumptious meals and enjoyed tea-coffee-banana-cake time each afternoon...

...and made new friends. Meet Ranger, a lovable "host."

Sipi Falls and Sipi River.

Loved this bridge, which we crossed on our hike to the falls.

The views were stunning!
A "tourist" sign.
A delightful field of sunflowers bid us farewell as we headed homeward.

Sisters in Christ - April, Stacy, Lauren, and me, Ruthie.

I came away from our "holiday" weekend feeling more refreshed and renewed. Sometimes getting away from the grind is indeed necessary to give us time and space to reconnect to our Creator, be reminded of His love, and to refocus on His purposes for us.

Need a holiday? ;)

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