God has blessed me beyond measure. I could write post after post about all the ways He provides over and above anything I could ever ask or imagine. This post is just one expression of praise to God for giving me such a wonderful group of ladies to do life with here at Tenwek. From the ones who have lived here for over a decade to the ones who just arrived, all the ladies in this Tenwek community are loving, supportive, creative, and sneaky! THANK YOU, ladies, for throwing me a very special baby shower for Joshua!!
Well, not unlike several times before, I reached the 34 week mark of my pregnancy and no baby shower had taken place. This is when I begin to wonder whether my friends and family have forgotten to throw me a shower or they just decided that I’ve already had my fair share of them and refused to go to all the work again. Honestly, I wouldn’t blame them for just saying “enough already!” and foregoing the party, but God has always blessed me with a wonderful group of friends who steps up to the plate. And they always want to surprise me.
I’m not the easiest person to surprise. With Noah, we lived 6 hours from family, so I had to plan the date of my shower according to my teaching schedule. No chance of a surprise there. I almost missed Jacob’s baby shower because I was SO tired. Our small group had to call Aaron and I to tell us to attend the meeting because it was actually our shower! Oops! Sorry for spoiling that attempt at surprising both me and Aaron. I don’t even remember a shower for Levi, and I can’t find any pictures on the computer. Without his scrapbook, I have no way of verifying whether we had one or not. Hannah was already born when her shower took place. Maybe it was the stress and worry of her being in the NICU that clouded my intuition, because her shower is the only one I didn’t know about.
This time around, I was beginning to worry that everyone was too busy to throw a shower. I’ve had all the time in the world to think about such details, so I suspected that the first Tuesday night ladies’ Bible study might be an opportune time to plan the shower. Plus, there were little hints along the way. One friend told me that she had “something” on Tuesday. Ok, people, we live in a small community. Not much happens without everybody knowing it! I immediately thought I wonder why she can’t tell me what she’s up to on Tuesday. Another friend came over insisting that I not go to Bible study without her. Then, Jacob came home requesting to go to the Bible study because Meredith (a girl on the compound) was going. I’m sure there were a few other comments or clues, but these three were enough to make me really suspicious. And sure enough, I was right!
When I walked in the house, everyone yelled “Surprise!” and I saw a room beautifully decorated to a baby boy shower and full of beautiful, smiling faces. Just seeing the love on their faces would have been enough, but they knocked my socks off! There were paper onesies on one wall. A “Joshua” banner with African animals on some of the other walls. The mantle was overflowing with stuffed animals.
The food was amazing and African themed. There were safari pops, fire and spice nuts, chips and salsa (they know I love Mexican!), the cutest fruit and lots more.
The games were super fun. I especially liked the one I won! Apparently, I’m the fastest diaperer in Tenwek. Everyone could write blessings on the onesies and guess the delivery date. We also played a baby animal games, which was quite challenging.
The best part, though, was getting to Facetime with my best friend from the States. That was a surprise and a blessing! Even though she was at ChickfilA without me (didn’t you promise to fast from ChickfilA until I return??), it was so special that she got to see me open my presents, join in on the shower festivities, and see the group of ladies that are loving me in her absence.
And speaking of presents, I was overwhelmed! I guess having a fourth boy is more fun than I expected. Since I have everything I need, they spoiled me with fun stuff. Most of it came from Amani Ya Juu, a great store in Nairobi (and other places) that helps men and women learn a trade (like sewing) to earn an income. These are among my favorites from the night.
All the details were carefully planned and special. I loved the time of prayer. Even the favors were great: basil plants. They symbolize blessings for Joshua to grow in grace and favor with God and among men.
Even if I almost always manage to spoil the surprise, I never tire of being showered with blessings! Thanks again, friends, for making this momma of 5 feel special, loved and blessed beyond measure!
Praises and Prayer Requests:
- Praise God for His perfect timing! God has proven Himself trustworthy time and time again. Please pray that we can peacefully rest in His sovereignty once again. Aaron will be out of town from Sunday afternoon until Tuesday evening and then again Wednesday afternoon through Friday evening. Please pray that Joshua will wait to make his appearance until after Aaron returns from his interviews! (He’s interviewing students who want to do an internship at Tenwek.) Pray that the boys will help me even more than usual in Aaron’s absence.
- Praise God for friends and family! Truly, every baby shower has been a unique blessing, and I am thankful for each and every one of my friends and family members who took part in showering me with blessings with each baby!
- Praise God for being our eternal Light! As the last shipment of parts for the new turbine arrived last week, our hydro-electric plant upgrade is almost complete! As a result, the team of engineers and workers had to turn off both turbines for a short time. It’s estimated that we will be without the hydro plant for 10 days, which means all of our power comes from KP&L (Kenya Power and Light). Over the first 24 hours, we enjoyed a whole 6 hours of electricity. It’s been better since then, but we still need prayer. Please pray for the engineers and workmen. Pray for their safety and wisdom while they work. Please pray for the hospital, that patient care would not be compromised during the power outages. The hospital does have a generator. Pray for us missionaries, that we would be patient and flexible. Pray that our freezers and refrigerators would keep our food cold.
I’ll close with the passage of Scripture that Jacob and his class has been memorizing. I LOVE how their minds so easily soak in Truth!
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.